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Innovation

On Safari with Steve Jobs at WWDC

Sat through the Jobs keynote at WWDC like a good boy, just in case there was something mindblowing.There wasn't.
Written by Rupert Goodwins, Contributor on

Sat through the Jobs keynote at WWDC like a good boy, just in case there was something mindblowing.

There wasn't.

Most of the keynote was spent unveiling new features coming with Leopard in the autumn - good features, fun features, even (if you compare them with Vista) great features, but you had to be prepared to stifle the still small voice going "oh, more tricks with thumbnails". One man's trick is another's usability breakthrough, so until the thing's out there in the wild -- and I don't count betas in the hands of developers as truly stalking the jungle -- it's best to keep the fizz on ice.

My pal DJ was unfeasibly excited by Electronic Arts coming back to the Apple, and if I was a big a gaming and Apple fanboi as he, then I would share his joy.

iPhone - out on 29th June at 6pm (I guess Pacific time, not that it matters to us iPhone orphans in the old country). Yes you can write apps for it, but they have to be in Javascript - they'll run in containers in Safari. Not sure what to make of this, to be honest: a lot will depend on how poky the phone actually is, although making the thing primarily a Web 2.0/Ajax platform is a good thing. In theory.

And oh yes, Safari. All you Windows users can download a beta of the new version of the Mac's own browser at www.apple.com/safari. I did, and ran a few informal tests side by side with IE 7 and Firefox 2. Apple's main pitch is that it's faster than those two, but I can't remember the last time I thought "if only my browser were faster". Certainly didn't notice any great improvements, and this is on a 2.5 GHz dual-core box under XP with 2GB of memory and a 10Mbps broadband connection. (I realised as I fired it up that this was the first time in weeks I'd turned it on - looks like I've switched to Ubuntu without really noticing).

S4W is nice enough, but it's defiantly beta. Takes more memory (around 20 to 30 percent more on the Google Mappy, Google Doccy, Youtubular and ZDNettery I played with), automatically imported all my bookmarks (good) and then lost them (bad), if you full screen it then minimize it, it maximizes back to a smaller size... and after twenty minutes playing with it, that still small voice came back and said "Why do you need a third browser?".

It had a point. Still, it's a no-lose move for Apple, as it ensures a common platform (of sorts) across Windows and the iPhone.

But a low-key effort by the Jobs unit. I don't suppose the faithful agree, or care, but there it is.

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