Safari Turns 20 Today: ‘Fastest Web Browser Ever Created for the Mac’

Today marks the 20th anniversary of Apple’s co-founder Steve Jobs introducing Safari on the Mac at the 2003 Macworld Expo in San Francisco. Apple advertised Safari as the “fastest web browser ever created for the Mac” at the time.

Safari Turns 20 Feature
Apple said the original version of Safari loaded pages over three times faster compared to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer on the Mac. Internet Explorer was the Mac’s default browser between 1998 and the release of OS X Panther with Safari in October 2003, as part of a five-year agreement between Apple and Microsoft.

“Safari is the fastest browser on the Mac, and we predict that many will feel it is the best browser ever created,” said Jobs, in a January 2003 press release. “We are bringing innovation back into this category with the first all new browser created in many years.”

A public beta of Safari was made available for OS X Jaguar in January 2003, with key features including the WebKit rendering engine for faster browsing speeds, Google search capabilities integrated directly into the toolbar, improved bookmark management, optional pop-up ad blocking, a simpler file download process, and more.

A mobile version of Safari was released for the iPhone in 2007 and for the iPad in 2010. The browser continues to use WebKit across all of Apple’s platforms.

Safari was eventually overshadowed by Google’s Chrome, which was released in 2008 and is now the world’s most popular web browser across all PCs and Macs. Nevertheless, Apple says Safari remains the world’s fastest desktop browser and is 50% faster on average at loading frequently visited websites than Chrome on the Mac.

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