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  • (01. January 2010., 10:27:49)

Author Topic: iPhone Safari isn't Safari 3.0, and other development surprises  (Read 3607 times)

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Since its introduction at WWDC, Safari 3 has seen a fair number of downloads, but it's also had some security issues. The proximity of the Safari 3 release and the iPhone launch suggested that the new version of Safari was closely linked to the phone, making the launch more of a development tool than a significant entry into the browser market in many developers' eyes. Now that iPhones are out in the wild and developers are working on iPhone web applications, we're beginning to see more details about iPhone Safari emerge; details that suggest that Steve is gunning for the browser market more than previously thought.

According to some new reports of conversations with Apple, iPhone Safari is quite a bit different than Safari 3. Specifically, iPhone Safari is not the same as Safari 3, which many people were thinking was the case. It's not the same as Safari 2, either, since the version of Safari on the iPhone was apparently forked somewhere in between. iPhone Safari has more CSS support than Safari 2, but less than version 3, so applications will tend to perform somewhere in between how they act on Macs. The report also has details on other iPhone Safari oddities, including scrolling and animation, but the big news is from the small paragraph about Safari 3.

Normally, this type of revelation wouldn't be a big deal, but this case is a bit different. Granted, the new Safari wasn't introduced as a development tool, but many people thought that the iPhone was the primary catalyst. The fact that Safari 3 and the iPhone Safari are different means that the decision to release Safari 3 really was more about an attempt to grab market-share than it was to provide development support for the iPhone.

It's also a little surprising because it means iPhone developers on both platforms aren't being taken care of quite as well as they expected, and may need to dig a bit deeper to overcome iPhone compatibility issues. This news makes the iPhone development seem like even more of an afterthought compared to entry into the browser market. It's clear that more could have been done to provide for developers rather than go after Mozilla and Microsoft.
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