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Safari 5

Safari 5 with hardware acceleration of media and effects

Safari 5 will sport 25 percent faster Javascript performance, bringing it up to date with Google’s recently released Chrome 5, speed-wise. A major update to Apple’s Safari browser could debut at the WWDC 2010 conference today, bringing a plethora of improvements, a bunch of goodies and new features.

Users should also experience faster page loading times due to a better page caching and DNS prefetching, which are Chrome’s tricks as well. Microsoft’s Bing debuts as a new search provider, alongside current Yahoo and Google choices. Safari’s built-in RSS reader gets a new name, Safari Reader, and a new icon. Clicking it, Apple wrote about Safari 5 will let you “view articles on the web in a single, clutter-free page.”

Improved HTML5 support includes Geolocation, full screen and closed captioning for HTML5 video, new sectioning elements (article, aside, footer, header, hgroup, nav, and section), HTML5 AJAX History, EventSource, WebSocket, HTML5 draggable attribute, HTML5 forms validation, and HTML5 Ruby.

Looks like Apple will forgo Safari 5 dumb URL bar and replace it with a more intelligent version dubbed the Smart Address Field that’ll match text against the titles of webpages in history and bookmarks, as well as any part of their URL. A new icon will appear inside the address field when you’re browsing in Safari’s private mode.

Another biggie is hardware acceleration of media and effects on both Windows and Mac. A new setting will allow Safari 5 to automatically open new pages in tabs instead of separate windows, a better history search will include a new Top Sites/Full History toggle and a date indicator showing when pages were viewed. There’s also a new inspector panel in Safari 5 developer tools.

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