updated 10:50 am EDT, Sat June 5, 2010
Safari 5 would help Apple regain browser edge
A potentially significant rumor has Apple launching Safari 5 as soon as WWDC with new additions intended to beat Google. The browser would allegedly have an option for Bing alongside Google and Yahoo, reflecting a last-minute deal with Microsoft. Apple would also bolster its HTML5 advocacy by supporting many more features, including geolocation, draggable items and video with closed-captioning and full-screen modes.
Several extra conspicuous updates would be in store, according to the release notes MacGeneration claimed to have. A new Reader feature would turn articles into a single, "clutter-free" page; it would also borrow elements from the address bars in Chrome and Firefox with awareness of bookmarks and history in the address bar. New browser windows would finally have the option of opening as new tabs by default.
No mention is made of browser extensions, although this was largely speculation from the outset. WebKit 2 is likewise unmentioned. However, the source mentioned that there were "five other" interesting pieces of news that weren't present and could be saved for the final release.
While unconfirmed, the news was given credence by a simultaneous leak of release notes for Mac OS X 10.6.4, which could launch at the same time. It would mostly address unresponsiveness in the keyboard or trackpad, opening certain Adobe CS3 apps, copying or modifying files on Samba servers, editing photos in Aperture or iPhoto in full-screen and playing DVDs with certain levels of deinterlacing.
Apple has said it would focus primarily on its handheld devices at WWDC next week but, if true, would be placing a strong emphasis on the web at the developer event as well. Apple has continued to gain share but at a much slower rate than Chrome, which is rapidly becoming one of the closest challengers to Firefox. Google's rapid update schedule has at times put its speed and feature set ahead of Apple and Mozilla; Safari 5 would come just a year after 4 and would significantly accelerate its development.