Why did Apple make Safari?

iAppleseed

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 11, 2011
177
0
I'm not saying Safari is bad or it shouldn't exist. I'm just asking why Apple made one when there's chrome, firefox and opera out there.
 

Intell

macrumors P6
Jan 24, 2010
18,886
380
Inside
Because at one point Chrome didn't exist, FireFox was Mozilla/Netscape and not very good, and Opera never really had a big following. That left Internet Explorer. Apple felt that they needed their own browser to go with their own operating system. That and Microsoft dropping IE support from Mac were two of the pushing things that made Apple make Safari.
 

Qaanol

macrumors 6502a
Jun 21, 2010
571
11
Ummm, you know that Safari was out before all of those right? :rolleyes:
This.

Safari came out in 2003. Firefox didn’t show up until 2004. Chrome came out in 2008, and wasn’t on Macs until 2009.

Opera, on the other hand, started life in 1994. I don’t know when it became a “good” browser on OS X, though it has never enjoyed substantial market share there.
 

iAppleseed

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 11, 2011
177
0
Because at one point Chrome didn't exist, FireFox was Mozilla/Netscape and not very good, and Opera never really had a big following. That left Internet Explorer. Apple felt that they needed their own browser to go with their own operating system. That and Microsoft dropping IE support from Mac were two of the pushing things that made Apple make Safari.
And IE is terrible. That means Safari is the best Browser. Then how come many people still use Google Chrome?
 

SteveAbootman

macrumors 6502a
May 12, 2008
602
21
And IE is terrible. That means Safari is the best Browser. Then how come many people still use Google Chrome?
Safari on Windows is terrible. The majority of the PC market still runs windows, and so the best alternatives to IE on that platform are Firefox and Chrome.

Not sure how big of a market share Chrome has on a Mac... though I'd guess not much.
 

pdjudd

macrumors 601
Jun 19, 2007
4,037
65
Plymouth, MN
And IE is terrible.
It was - When Apple started working on the fork of WebKit, Apple still had a bundling agreement with MS with IE and by 2003 it had been severely neglected by MS (the windows version was much more advanced and was in version 5 or 6 by then) and the Mac version was at 4 I believe. None the less, they were never the same thing. The only other browsers out there (thanks to MS’s monopolistic practices) was Netscape (which was not good back then being neglected severely without resources put toward it) and Opera (not very viable for Apple). Webkit was pretty much the only thing out there and Apple decided to use that since it was very powerful.
 

07dodge

macrumors member
May 31, 2012
48
0
Safari on Windows is terrible. The majority of the PC market still runs windows, and so the best alternatives to IE on that platform are Firefox and Chrome.
I run Safari on Windows Vista. I used the standard IE up until it started having issues loading websites; switched to Safari because it was on there from my iTunes and haven't looked back. Been flawless for me
 

nuckinfutz

macrumors 603
Jul 3, 2002
5,502
314
Middle Earth
Webkit

Let's remember

Safari is a Browser

Webkit is the engine that powers Safari and lays the foundation for other web technologies.


Webkit has been one of Apple's most underrated successes.
 

Sedulous

macrumors 68020
Dec 10, 2002
2,417
1,712
Safari was Apple's answer for the lackluster web browser field... and eventually the foundation of many other things, including the iTunes Store.
 

Canaan

macrumors member
Sep 1, 2011
61
0
Webkit has been one of Apple's most underrated successes.
I agree. I can't imagine the world without Safari and Chrome. Firefox isn't bad, but I think some of their best gains have been made because of other browsers entering the fray.
 

iAppleseed

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 11, 2011
177
0
Webkit
Webkit is the engine that powers Safari and lays the foundation for other web technologies.


Webkit has been one of Apple's most underrated successes.
I've been hearing Webkit every time someone mentions Safari. What is Webkit anyway, and how did it become a success? How did it affect browsing compared to others?
 

Albright

macrumors regular
Aug 23, 2011
120
178
It was - When Apple started working on the fork of WebKit, Apple still had a bundling agreement with MS with IE and by 2003 it had been severely neglected by MS (the windows version was much more advanced and was in version 5 or 6 by then) and the Mac version was at 4 I believe.
It's not quite correct to compare version numbers in this case because IE for Mac used a completely different rendering engine than the PC version. In fact, in many ways, the Mac versions of IE were ahead of the PC versions in terms of engine capability, even though the version numbers were further behind.

At any rate, probably another reason Apple wanted to create their own browser is that the Mac version of IE in the early days of OS X, while decent, still looked and felt very Classic Mac OS-ish; it was a Carbon app and not very pretty, and even felt kind of bloated (though still not as bad as Netscape Navigator's later years). MS might have balked at rewriting IE in Cocoa, particularly when their Office apps needed the same treatment and were probably a lot more profitable.

Webkit was pretty much the only thing out there and Apple decided to use that since it was very powerful.
Strictly speaking, WebKit did not exist until Apple branched an earlier project, called KHTML, and called their branch WebKit.

And IE is terrible. That means Safari is the best Browser. Then how come many people still use Google Chrome?
More recent versions of IE could earn a Most Improved award, at least, but at any rate, "best browser" is subjective. I myself don't use it much. There are different tools for different fools.

Chrome got a boost in its early days simply by having the Google name attached to it; there were (and still are, sadly) lots of Google fanboys who make us Apple guys look downright sane by comparison.

I've been hearing Webkit every time someone mentions Safari. What is Webkit anyway, and how did it become a success? How did it affect browsing compared to others?
WebKit is the open source HTML and JavaScript engine project that Apple created. If you think in terms of Safari, it's WebKit that handles taking HTML, CSS, JavaScript and other files downloaded from the internet and turning them into a web page, but it doesn't handle things like downloading the file, creating browser windows or tabs, saving bookmarks, etc - those things are done by other libraries, by the operating system, or by Safari itself.

Since WebKit is open source, other groups outside of Apple can and have used it to build their own browsers, Chrome being the most popular on the desktop, though there are others; I'm using my personal favorite, OmniWeb, right now, and one called Midori is popular among the lightweight Linux crowd. WebKit is also better-suited to being adapted for mobile devices than Mozilla, the engine Firefox uses, which is why WebKit-powered browsers now ship with every major smartphone operating system except Microsoft's.
 
Last edited:

SandboxGeneral

Moderator emeritus
Sep 8, 2010
26,075
9,263
Detroit
... Then how come many people still use Google Chrome?
Why do people climb mountains? Because they're there. Its about choice, which is why there are other browsers beside IE and Safari. I use Chrome because I like the way it feels better than Safari and for the fact that my primary email account is GMail. SO that means I can sign into the browser and sync everything across computers and OS platforms. It's very handy and I like it.

Plus it has SPDY which Safari doesn't (yet).
 

MisterMe

macrumors G4
Jul 17, 2002
10,648
29
USA
...When Apple started working on the fork of WebKit, ...
Apple didn't work on a fork of WebKit; Apple developed WebKit, period. WebKit is the set of frameworks upon which Safari is based. It was derived from the opensource KHTML browser engine. Apple released WebKit back to opensource. Other browser developers selected WebKit as their browsers. The OmniGroup switched OmniWeb to WebKit. Google selected WebKit as the basis of its Chrome browser. Small developers have also developed WebKit-based browsers such as Shiira and Sunrise.

As for Safari on Windows, it is difficult to escape IE on that platform. However, I tend to use Safari whenever I need to browse the Web while working on Windows. IE is such a pain. Before Chrome was available, I was surprised to learn that my Windows-using colleagues affirmatively selected Safari for their Web-browsing needs because it was much less vulnerable to malware than IE. I do not know if my Safari-using colleagues on Windows have switched to Chrome or back to Firefox or even IE. The point is that Safari worked just fine for them then just as it does for me now whenever I am on Windows.
 

pdjudd

macrumors 601
Jun 19, 2007
4,037
65
Plymouth, MN
Apple didn't work on a fork of WebKit; Apple developed WebKit, period. WebKit is the set of frameworks upon which Safari is based. It was derived from the opensource KHTML browser engine.
Doh! I completely forgot about KHTML. *hits head on wall*


It's not quite correct to compare version numbers in this case because IE for Mac used a completely different rendering engine than the PC version. In fact, in many ways, the Mac versions of IE were ahead of the PC versions in terms of engine capability, even though the version numbers were further behind.
My recollection was at the very end, MS basically stopped working on IE for about a year or so before Apple tossed it out - they only left it in due to contractual reasons. However my memories of it were not pleasant. Compared to Windows versions, IE for Windows was faster and supported lots of things that IE for Mac did terribly. Heck, it never did and probably never could support ActiveX - really big back in the day. To this day it’s still exclusive to Windows IE. I wasn’t really trying to compare versions numbers to imply that they were the same thing, just to point out that their Windows browser had much more development into it.

Anyhow, it’s dead now.
 
Last edited:

btbrossard

macrumors 6502a
Oct 25, 2008
973
11
Chicagoland
My recollection was at the very end, MS basically stopped working on IE for about a year or so before Apple tossed it out - they only left it in due to contractual reasons. However my memories of it were not pleasant. Compared to Windows versions, IE for Windows was faster and supported lots of things that IE for Mac did terribly.
IE on the Mac ended up being Microsoft's abandoned redheaded stepchild.

When Safari came out it was by far the better Mac based browser.
 

kaielement

macrumors 65816
Dec 16, 2010
1,196
52
Microsoft stopped updating IE. Apple had issues with it manly security stuff and Microsoft refused to updates it so Apple decided to build their own web browser which imo is light years better then IE.
 

Sylon

macrumors 68020
Feb 26, 2012
2,032
80
Michigan/Ohio, USA
I'm probably one of the few that completely ignores Safari on my Mac. I think the very first thing I did when I got my Mac was download Chrome. I think that was the only thing I used Safari for, lol. Chrome is what I was used to coming from a PC, as that's all I used. I didn't feel like having to re-learn a new browser on top of having to learn a new OS as well. I knew Chrome, I knew how to use it. So if anything, it was something I was already familiar with while trying to get used to a whole new OS. I just love Chrome's extensions like Adblocker and YouTubeDownloader.

I also have Firefox installed, but I rarely use it. Only for ripping video clips off the internet.

The only time I use Safari is when I'm using my iPhone or iPad. Mainly because I don't have much of a choice.


Here are the latest stats on which browser is getting the most action. Keep in mind though, IE gets a lot of its boost from government computers in the States.

United States: http://gs.statcounter.com/#browser-US-monthly-201112-201205

Worldwide: http://gs.statcounter.com/#browser-ww-monthly-201112-201205
 
Last edited:

MisterMe

macrumors G4
Jul 17, 2002
10,648
29
USA
... Heck, it never did and probably never could support ActiveX - really big back in the day. To this day it’s still exclusive to Windows IE. I wasn’t really trying to compare versions numbers to imply that they were the same thing, just to point out that their Windows browser had much more development into it.

Anyhow, it’s dead now.
ActiveX is not an Internet Explorer technology; it is a Windows technology.
 

McGiord

macrumors 601
Oct 5, 2003
4,533
287
Dark Castle
I'm probably one of the few that completely ignores Safari on my Mac. I think the very first thing I did when I got my Mac was download Chrome. I think that was the only thing I used Safari for, lol. Chrome is what I was used to coming from a PC, as that's all I used. I didn't feel like having to re-learn a new browser on top of having to learn a new OS as well. I knew Chrome, I knew how to use it. So if anything, it was something I was already familiar with while trying to get used to a whole new OS. I just love Chrome's extensions like Adblocker and YouTubeDownloader.

I also have Firefox installed, but I rarely use it. Only for ripping video clips off the internet.

The only time I use Safari is when I'm using my iPhone or iPad. Mainly because I don't have much of a choice.


Here are the latest stats on which browser is getting the most action. Keep in mind though, IE gets a lot of its boost from government computers in the States.

United States: http://gs.statcounter.com/#browser-US-monthly-201112-201205

Worldwide: http://gs.statcounter.com/#browser-ww-monthly-201112-201205
Can you please check something in your Safari: the cookies. iTunes Store and the App Store require the cookies to be enabled in Safari. As you normally do not use it, it is interesting to know what you see there.

Do you use both stores?
 

blackhand1001

macrumors 68030
Jan 6, 2009
2,595
22
It's not quite correct to compare version numbers in this case because IE for Mac used a completely different rendering engine than the PC version. In fact, in many ways, the Mac versions of IE were ahead of the PC versions in terms of engine capability, even though the version numbers were further behind.

At any rate, probably another reason Apple wanted to create their own browser is that the Mac version of IE in the early days of OS X, while decent, still looked and felt very Classic Mac OS-ish; it was a Carbon app and not very pretty, and even felt kind of bloated (though still not as bad as Netscape Navigator's later years). MS might have balked at rewriting IE in Cocoa, particularly when their Office apps needed the same treatment and were probably a lot more profitable.



Strictly speaking, WebKit did not exist until Apple branched an earlier project, called KHTML, and called their branch WebKit.



More recent versions of IE could earn a Most Improved award, at least, but at any rate, "best browser" is subjective. I myself don't use it much. There are different tools for different fools.

Chrome got a boost in its early days simply by having the Google name attached to it; there were (and still are, sadly) lots of Google fanboys who make us Apple guys look downright sane by comparison.



WebKit is the open source HTML and JavaScript engine project that Apple created. If you think in terms of Safari, it's WebKit that handles taking HTML, CSS, JavaScript and other files downloaded from the internet and turning them into a web page, but it doesn't handle things like downloading the file, creating browser windows or tabs, saving bookmarks, etc - those things are done by other libraries, by the operating system, or by Safari itself.

Since WebKit is open source, other groups outside of Apple can and have used it to build their own browsers, Chrome being the most popular on the desktop, though there are others; I'm using my personal favorite, OmniWeb, right now, and one called Midori is popular among the lightweight Linux crowd. WebKit is also better-suited to being adapted for mobile devices than Mozilla, the engine Firefox uses, which is why WebKit-powered browsers now ship with every major smartphone operating system except Microsoft's.

Apple did not create webkit. Webkit was created by KDE with Konqueror then called KHTML. Apple used there code to make safari. They made safari off of it.
 
Last edited:

MisterMe

macrumors G4
Jul 17, 2002
10,648
29
USA
WebKit is based on KHTML, but they are not the same thing. It is appropriate therefore to say that Apple created WebKit.
 

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