Safari is a big deal on the Mac, but it has never been a major player on PCs. That's partly because of good old-fashioned Apple arrogance, and partly because Safari didn't do Firefox-style extensions. That's finally changed.
Safari 5 offers both an extensions API and some interesting tricks up its sleeve, especially when it comes to HTML5 features.
It includes geolocation, draggable items and the ability to watch video in full screen and with closed captions.
The most dramatic new feature is Reader. Whenever you visit a site that's overly stuffed with adverts, the Reader icon appears in the address bar. Click it and the page clutter is removed, with multiple pages joined together and images shown inline. The effect is rather Microsoft Word document circa 1997, but there are a number of extensions that can make it prettier.
We're sure site owners are already looking for ways to block it in the name of making sure people see their thrilling banner adverts.
Battle of the big five
Safari 5 is more bad news for IE9. Microsoft's competition has never been tougher, with superb browsers available not just from Apple but from Opera, Google and Mozilla too.
But whether Safari tops Chrome is largely down to personal preference. It's a decent browser and Reader is handy, but until there are more extensions, we think Chrome has the edge.
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