Apple launches new, experimental Safari Technology Preview browser for developers

Posted:
in Mac Software edited March 2016
Apple on Wednesday launched a new developer-focused, experimental version of Safari for Mac, offering a sneak preview of features that may soon come to the browser for OS X and iOS.




Safari Technology Preview can now be downloaded from Apple's website and installed on a Mac. While the preview is OS X only, Apple says the software will give developers a look at upcoming Web technologies that will appear in both iOS and OS X.

Safari Technology Preview includes "the latest layout technologies, visual effects, and developer tools." Users can provide input on how they are implemented, helping Apple to improve the Safari experience across all devices.

Highlights of Safari Technology Preview, according to Apple, are:

  • Preview the latest web technologies. Get a preview of the latest advances in Safari web technologies, including HTML, JavaScript, and CSS. Safari Technology Preview includes the most recent version of WebKit, the rendering engine that powers Safari.

  • Easy to update. You can update Safari Technology Preview right from the Mac App Store. Updates occur every few weeks and include the most recent additions and improvements to WebKit.

  • Access powerful developer tools. Use the latest version of the powerful Web Inspector and Responsive Design Mode to modify, debug, and optimize your websites.

  • Provide feedback. Use Bug Reporter to send feedback directly to Apple about issues and enhancement requests. Simply select Report an Issue from the Help menu in Safari Technology Preview.

  • Run side-by-side with Safari. Safari Technology Preview is a standalone app that works side-by-side with the current version of Safari, so you can continue to use and reference the current release.

  • Surf seamlessly with iCloud. Safari Technology Preview works with iCloud, so you can access your latest Safari Favorites, bookmarks, and Reading List.

  • Keep current. The WebKit blog keeps you up-to-date on the latest developments in HTML, JavaScript, and CSS.


Though the software is available on Apple's developer website and is only intended for testing purposes, members of the public can also download and install Safari Technology Preview. It requires OS X 10.11.4 or later.

Release 1 has the following accompanying notes:

Browser Differences



  • Safari Technology Preview can be run side-by-side with Safari and set as the default browser
  • Separate local data stores are used for history, bookmarks, cookies, and cache
  • Browsing history and bookmarks are synced over iCloud when iCloud sync is enabled
  • The Develop menu is enabled by default
  • Receives regular updates through the Updates tab of the Mac App Store
  • Bug reports made on bugreport.apple.com should specify Safari Technology Preview


JavaScript Improvements



  • ECMAScript 6 support including lexical scoping, iterators, generators, arrow functions, default parameter values and many new built-in APIs
  • Better standards compliant IndexedDB support with more stability
  • Included the B3 JavaScript JIT compiler with low-latency, high-throughput that boosts performance
  • Added the ability to use `document.execCommand('copy')` and `document.execCommand('cut')` in response to a user gesture to copy and cut text programmatically


HTML Enhancements



  • The latest implementation of the Shadow DOM specification
  • Added support for Content Security Policy Level 2


Web Inspector Changes



  • Added memory summary and JavaScript allocations timelines
  • Added a fast JavaScript sampling profiler
  • Improved JavaScript profiling timeline view


Behavior Changes



  • Included many web compatibility fixes and bug fixes
tallest skil

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    irelandireland Posts: 17,660member
    Nice addition to my Safari Private script:


    edited March 2016
  • Reply 2 of 16
    JanNLJanNL Posts: 270member
    This Safari Technology Preview feels snappier to me. (on a 27 iMac 5K, 24GB RAM)
    edited March 2016 tallest skilcornchip
  • Reply 3 of 16
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,359member
    Installing and running it has sent my Little Snitch into apoplexy!  Even adding it to LS's allows list doesn't stop every connection being flagged.  Now my regular Safari is behaving the same way.  
  • Reply 4 of 16
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,803member
    Installing and running it has sent my Little Snitch into apoplexy!  Even adding it to LS's allows list doesn't stop every connection being flagged.  Now my regular Safari is behaving the same way.  

    That's interesting. I was thinking of installing it. I suppose I'll wait to see if Snitch has an update for it.
  • Reply 5 of 16
    Is this the same thing as the WebKit Nightly except it comes through the App Store now?
  • Reply 6 of 16
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 2,272member
    So it's a beta of the next version of Safari. Why is it called a "technology preview"?
  • Reply 7 of 16
    JanNLJanNL Posts: 270member
    dysamoria said:
    So it's a beta of the next version of Safari. Why is it called a "technology preview"?
    It's Safari 9.1.1 instead of the now 9.1 so maybe Apple wants to update this Safari faster (and separate) than the normal beta's.

    edited March 2016
  • Reply 8 of 16
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    jannl said:
    It's Safari 9.1.1 instead of the now 9.1 so maybe Apple wants to update this Safari faster than the normal beta's.

    Do you think they'll retain that traditional beta alongside this one?

    – Posted from STP
  • Reply 9 of 16
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,860member
    jannl said:
    This Safari Technology Preview feels snappier to me. (on a 27 iMac 5K, 24GB RAM)
    Wouldn't be Safari if it wasn't snappier. Do note that JavaScript processing is supposedly vastly improved so that is a factor. In any event I'm glad they wished up and designed this app to run side by side with the the system supplied Safari. That is a big win for testing.
  • Reply 10 of 16
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,860member
    dysamoria said:
    So it's a beta of the next version of Safari. Why is it called a "technology preview"?
    Because it is a beta debuting new technology!
    mdriftmeyer
  • Reply 11 of 16
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    dysamoria said:
    So it's a beta of the next version of Safari. Why is it called a "technology preview"?
    nope, not a beta. at least familiarize yourself with software development terms before you use them...or just admit youre merely spreading FUD around like a kid with finger paints. 
    edited March 2016 williamlondonai46
  • Reply 12 of 16
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    I didn’t find it in the documentation, so I’ll ask here.

    Does this option (doesn’t seem to work right now) mean that Apple will be offering up specialized JavaScript only for Safari during streaming of their live events? 

  • Reply 13 of 16
    ai46ai46 Posts: 56member
    One of the first things I discovered is a non-removable cookie. [html5.com] Then I discovered that 1Password won't install their extension—don't have the codesign in their database yet. As some have noted, this is a developer version of Safari and non-developers need to pay more attention when they use it.
  • Reply 14 of 16
    Man, I'd love to know what new bugs Apple has in store for Safari.
    loquitur
  • Reply 15 of 16
    As others have noted, this version seems much faster than the current release. There's nothing in the release notes that suggest why that might be, however. That said, launch is about twice as fast, and web pages definitely seem much faster to load.
  • Reply 16 of 16

    I didn’t find it in the documentation, so I’ll ask here.

    Does this option (doesn’t seem to work right now) mean that Apple will be offering up specialized JavaScript only for Safari during streaming of their live events? 

    That AppleEvents still exist is what makes me go "huh".

    The entire infrastructure should have been replaced long ago with JS. There is some JS linkage now, but it certainly doesn't get much love from Apple.
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