At last, we may finally have a competitive browser market for the Mac. Apple enters the picture with Safari (v 1.0 Beta), self-dubbed the turbo browser for the Mac. As Jobs likes to do, Safari is compared side by side along with other browsers for speed tests in HTML rendering, JavaScript, and application launch time. A few quick test drives around the neighborhood proves this to be quite true. It certainly seems to be wicked fast at page rendering. Nice Snapback feature, and convenient method to organize lots of bookmarks. Preferences seem rather sparse for the moment, but we’re only at beta stage so far.

[thumbnail screenshot showing minor issues on Stopdesign with Apple's new browser, Safari, .gif, 199 KB] Apple claims Safari is compliant with the latest Web standards. Although I’m already noting some weird issues with my Portfolio pages of this site. See screenshot, [.gif, 199 KB] which shows oddities around the individual piece thumbnails. Perhaps it’s my combination of floated elements nested inside a positioned parent that it doesn’t quite yet handle. The pseudo-class selector :hover also produces some buggy effects in my primary navigation above. Mark Pilgrim points out a few more early issues with Apple’s new release.

Apple is really pushing [read: forcing] their customers to upgrade to Jaguar (OS 10.2), as Safari is yet another example of software that will only run on Jaguar, which costs earlier users US$129 for the update. While I think it’s fantastic that Apple continues to push ahead with new software and OS upgrades, it seems they won’t be giving many free handouts anymore.

Update: As of July 2003, I’ve redesigned my portfolio pages. The wierdness in Safari mentioned above no longer exists.