Safari is a web browser that was created by Apple Inc. and comes with Mac OS X and iOS operating systems. Safari is Apple’s default browser and iOS’s native browser. Safari was released in 2003 on Apple’s OS X operating system. In 2011, Safari accounted for just over 60% of mobile web browsing traffic and 5% of desktop traffic.
Reach / Demographic
Safari has a fairly large reach, especially when it comes to mobile devices. Net Applications stated that Safari accounted for just over 62% of mobile browsing traffic and just over 5% of desktop traffic. It combined market share in October 2011 was just over 8%.
Advantages (compatibility, lightweight, add-ons)
Safari 6 was released in mid- 2012, coinciding with the release of OS X Mountain Lion. Safari 6 is available for with Safari 5 being available for Windows.
Safari 6 has many great features including iCloud Tabs. This feature allows users to ‘sync’ open tabs with other compatible devices. Safari 6 showcases advanced features for user privacy, which strengthen the security a user has while browsing the web. A helpful security features includes the “Ask websites not to track me” preference.
Safari 6 also features the Share Sheets capability. The Share Sheet function has many different options available to the user including: Add Bookmark, Email this Page, Message, Twitter, Facebook and Add to Reading List. There are now full page previews available for users to view tabs. WebKit 2 has been integrated to Safari as of version 5.1. It features the ability to save webpage clips for viewing on the Apple Dashboard. It also features automatic filling in of web forms, book integration with address book, bookmark management and search by history. Safari also features pop-up ad blocking, private browsing and reader mode. Users will also be impressed with automatic spell check, support for CSS animation and HTML For increased security, Safari also offers built-in password management via Keychain.
The most recent version of Safari is Safari 6.0. Safari 6.0 includes Private Browsing, a feature that keeps no record of information about the user’s activity while browsing the web. It also has the ability to archive web content in the WebArchive format. There is also iCloud Tabs which link the desktop and the iOS versions of Safari. The Offline Reading Lists allows users to read content that has been stored without being connected to the internet. You can also utilize multi-touch gestures on Tab View.
Safari has a clean and stylish user interface. The page layout is easy to navigate and allows for much greater web browser functionality. The address bar searches the History rather than utilizing the default search engine. Safari features a separate search field instead. The Page Icon displays a menu just for the current page. The settings icon has a large menu of options including Pop-up Blocking, Extensions, Private Browsing and Customization features. The Bookmarks tab also has icons to show the Reading List, Top Sites and more. When the user clicks Preferences under the Setting field a new tab is opened with a variety of options including: Appearance, Security, Privacy, Tabs, RSS, and Extensions. Safari’s user interface does not stray that far from the current popular mold that web browser giants Internet Explorer and Google Chrome feature. Safari remains sleek and clutter free, allowing the user to search easily.
Privacy / Security
Apple has worked very diligently to ensure the integrity and privacy of users while they browse using Safari. In 2008 during the PWN2OWN contest at a CanSecWest security conference a takedown of Safari caused Mac OS X operating system to be the first to fail. The solid version of Safari blocked approximately 13% of compromised URLs in 2011. It scored the equivelant of Google Chrome and Firefox.
Safari is a really useful web browser that eliminates online clutter while leaving the information that you were looking for. Safari’s new features allow the user to enjoy a secure and responsive search. With each new version of Safari released Apple continues to improve user-friendliness and responsiveness.