Safari 5 – The World’s Most Productive Web Browser

Editor’s Note:  Peter North, one of WorkAwesome’s newest contributors, is at Apple’s WWDC all week.  He’ll provide little snippets for our readers to digest over the course of the week – to pass on what Apple and its developer community has to offer in terms of making all of us more productive.

Yesterday at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple introduced Safari 5, an upgrade that introduces some significant changes. It has special accommodations for Windows users, faster page loading, and a new developer program that allows programmers to tailor Safari to suit all of our needs. With its new features, Safari 5 could be the most productive browser ever.

Safari Speed

Safari 5 handily beat the latest versions of Firefox, Opera and Chrome in speed tests. In some extreme cases, it loaded pages over a half-second faster than other browsers. That may not sound like much, but if you’re visiting thousands of web pages with a slower browser, it could add up to a lot of wasted time. Safari 5’s quicker page loading could make you a top speed taskmaster.


Safari 5’s new “Reader” function allows the visitor to view a page’s main content without having to bother with ads and other visual distractions. It detects the real “body” of the page, and “cuts out” banner ads, navigation elements and page wraps. The result is a clean, streamlined, distraction-free browsing experience that keeps you focused on the content you came for. You no longer have to squint at the desired information while tuning out the ads in your periphery; Safari 5 can tune them out for you.

Safari Developer Program

Safari has finally released a developer program that allows programmers to build their own modifications and additions to Safari. These “add-ons” are part of what made Firefox such a popular browser, and there will soon be hundreds of Safari extensions to help users complete their web-related work much more easily. It’s hard to speculate what they will come up with, but surely there will be some powerful tools to help you get your web work done.

Enhancements Just For Windows

Although Apple and Microsoft are competitors, Apple has taken great care to optimize the PC version of Safari 5 for those who use Windows, particularly for rich media and interactive graphics. It’s not just a good browser for Macintosh computers; Safari 5 has been tailored to work well on Windows.

Future Proofed

Safari 5 is the leader in supporting HTML5, the latest version of hypertext that enables faster browsing with more vibrant experiences. Many major websites are already using HTML5 on their websites, and Safari is ready, ahead of anyone else, to display them optimally. Why let your older browser struggle with the latest hypertext?

Will you give Safari 5 a spin?  Does it have what it takes to usurp your current browser?  Let us know in the comments.

(Image courtesy of Apple)

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Peter is Vice President of Digital Marketing at an investment holdings company in Washington DC and Co-Founder at True North.


  1. Josh on the 8th June

    Maybe this one will be better, at this point I only use safari as a test subject and as a dock ornament, maybe this version will be better, but I’m will stick with firefox till the very end! (btw I use windows)

  2. Mike on the 9th June

    I’ve tried Safari 5 on Windows, and I’m pleasantly surprised with its speed; It’s really fast (both browsing and web developer), I’m liking it so far.

    I did find a couple of bugs though (buggy file upload forms). I’ll have to use it more for final verdict.

    Off-topic: Peter, how does your name work for you? I just googled you to find out more about you; had a very nice laugh due to results showing up. 🙂

    • Joel Falconer on the 9th June

      Haha, wow, I made the mistake of firing up Google to find out what Mike meant. Good thing I didn’t do so in the office ;).

    • Peter North on the 9th June

      I guess I don’t mind having a famous doppelganger. It’s never caused me too much of a problem 🙂 Like my bio says, I really do enjoy my work!

      Of course, every other web geek can register What’s even worse is that my initials spell “pwn,” which is very popular gamer slang.

    • Mike on the 10th June

      That’s what I thought (but just had to ask).

      If you continue to put out good articles, I’m sure people will eventually confuse him with you, you know:

      – Wait, wait, wait, aren’t you the writer, technology professional?
      – Ah, no, no, I’m the “actor.” That’s the other Peter North.


  3. Stephanie on the 9th June

    I was turned off by the previous versions of Safari and told myself to just stick to either Chrome or Google, but because you mentioned speed and tweaks for Windows users I might just give it a spin after all. 🙂

  4. Themistocles on the 9th June

    How on earth is it faster than Opera? The benchmarks I saw gave S5 under *half* the score that Opera 10.60 achieved!

    As for tailoring it for Windows… even the Win7 Superbar integration sucks so much it’s an instant turn-off (at a time when all other devs have abandoned the feature). Apart from that, I don’t see any real ‘integration’.

    And, I think I remember reading earlier today that the reader feature uses code from an existing GM (?) script (though I can’t find the source right now, so I’m not 100% sure).

    For me, it lacks so many of the FF scripts/add-ons, or Opera’s built-in functionality, or even Chrome’s extension library that calling it “the world’s most productive browser” surely sounds like fanboyism…

  5. Themistocles on the 9th June

    Ah – here’s the source for the Reader thing: Also, from the same site, and including some benchmarks: .

    I wonder what share of Windows users S5 captures, if it’s really the world’s most productive browser…

  6. Nah…I still prefer Chrome…I am addicted to it….I just like Chorme better than FF, IE and Safari!

    Too much hassle to move to a different browser like Safari…and Chrome loads up pretty fast…which I doubt Safari would..


  7. Avery on the 9th June

    I became a fan of Safari with version 4. That being said I’m really disliking what I’ve read of this new Reader function. As an advertiser, why should I pay for ads if there’s a good chance that the browsers are going to wipe them clear from the page anyway? Now that Safari has done this I can’t help but to imagine Chrome and Firefox following up with something similar.

    I realize Reader effect on the advertiser’s access to customers will be minimal since it’s only when your using this function to read articles “distraction free” but I still find the concept troubling.

    • Peter North on the 9th June


      I definitely think that’s a good point. There were some audible rumblings when they unveiled this at WWDC. Apple’s always been very user-centric, but this is quite threatening to publishers.

      In fact, the first thing that came to mind was “Isn’t this just one more thing that site owners have to do? Our checklist is already pretty long, and now we might have to add “Defeat Safari 5 Reader” to it?

      Maybe it just compels us to make our ads tasteful, pretty and unobtrusive. If you have blinking, flashing, seizure-inducing ads on your site, Safari surfers will rush to the “Reader” button. But, if you have a pretty layout and some tasteful ads (like this site), I doubt anyone would feel the need to use it.

  8. Chirag Deshpande on the 9th June

    Thanks for the useful write-up. I’ve already started downloading the Safari. 🙂

  9. Mark on the 9th June

    Chrome is better in my opinion. Maybe Safari works better on a Mac, but I use Windows like 95% of people who use a computer.

  10. Jill on the 16th October

    I like Safari. I use it a lot. Safari is much preferred by me than any version of IE.

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