WWDC: Safari gets energy-efficient update in Mavericks

Leah Yamshon
11 June, 2013
View more articles fromthe author

When OS X Mavericks arrives later this year, a new version of Safari will come along for the ride. Apple’s latest web browser boasts smoother scrolling, a new Top Sites implementation and several under-the-hood improvements.

These changes help deliver the improvement that Apple Senior Vice President of Software Engineering Craig Federighi stressed the most during Tuesday’s keynote – how energy efficient Safari will be in its latest iteration. OS X Mavericks introduces a new power-saving feature called App Nap, which decides where your Mac should direct its power supply. When Safari isn’t your primary program, App Nap will essentially put it to sleep, greatly reduces your Mac’s power usage.

To demonstrate how this works, Federighi showed off an energy-intensive web page with lots of animation alongside a CPU-usage graph. When Safari was the in use, the graph’s power-usage shot up. But when Federighi switched over to iTunes, the power went way down. This feature will be especially helpful in preserving the battery life of MacBooks with Retina display, according to Federighi.

Compared to current versions of Chrome and Firefox, Apple contends Safari is lightning fast. SunSpider’s metrics clock Safari’s speeds as 1.44 times faster than Chrome; JSBench logs Safari at 3.8x against Chrome’s 1.5x. (And according to Federighi, looking at Firefox’s numbers is “just sad” by comparison.)

Reading material

You’ll also notice an updated Reading List and Bookmarks sidebar. Your Reading List still lives as a column on the left-hand sidebar of your browser window, and you can add stories, articles or webpages to your reading list with a click of a button. But now, you can continuously scroll between articles without having to click. When you finish a page, keep scrolling to move on to the next page in your queue. Reader gets a bit of a makeover as well, with a cleaner look that really shows off the page’s content. Reader also supports this new scroll-through feature for continuous reading.

The Reading List/Bookmarks sidebar has a new tab – Shared Links, which integrates with your Twitter and LinkedIn feeds. Shared Links keeps tabs on all of the links shared by the people you follow. You can navigate these pages just as you would your Reading List. You can retweet them right from the sidebar, or one-click save them to Bookmarks.

Top Sites also looks a little different – the flashy, rounded box view has been replaced with a cleaner, flat thumbnail view similar to Chrome’s startup page.

Scrolling and security

On top of that, users will notice an extremely fluid and fast smooth scrolling through pages, thanks to Core Animation optimisations system wide. Under-the-hood improvements include better process per tab architecture and background tab optimisation, among others.

For password protection, Safari will support Mavericks’ iCloud Keychain feature, Apple’s new solution to multiple password storage. iCloud Keychain will remember website logins, credit card information (but not your security code) and Wi-Fi logins. Safari will remember your password for you, or auto-suggest a new password, and then sync it to your unique Keychain. iCloud Keychain syncs all of this information across all your systems, encrypted and securely.

The updated Safari will ride the wave of OS X Mavericks, when the latest OS update debutes this spring.


By Leah Yamshon. Macworld


Check out the following links for more WWDC news, analysis and discussion:

iOS 7
Help: FAQ: everything you need to know about iOS 7
Blogs: 27 new iOS 7 features Apple didn’t talk about
News: Apple unveils iOS 7
Blogs: iOS 7: how its latest features stack up to Android
Blogs: Siri in iOS 7: Apple still playing catch up with Google, but moving aggressively
News: Siri gets smarter in iOS 7, ditches Google for search
Blogs: What Apple’s new AirDrop data sharing says about NFC
News: Apple’s law enforcement critics ‘appreciative’ of new activation lock

OS X Mavericks
Help: FAQ: everything you need to know about OS X Mavericks
News: Apple previews OS X ‘Mavericks’
News: iBooks to come to the Mac
News: Safari gets energy-efficient update in Mavericks

MacBook Air
Features: Lab tested: Haswell MacBook Air benefits from faster graphics, flash storage
News: New MacBook Airs get better battery life & graphics performance
News: Apple’s Mac move could spur PCIe flash flurry in notebooks, desktops
News: Intel’s new Haswell chips may be hot, but not in a good way

Mac Pro
News: The wait is nearly over: Apple unveils new Mac Pro
Features: The new Mac Pro: what you need to know
Help: Will your creative software run on the Mac Pro 2013?

Blogs: iOS 7, Mavericks and more: developers react to WWDC announcements
Blogs: Apple’s events move on, and so does the company
Blogs: Meet the new Apple, same as the old Apple
News: The Apple Design Award winners
News: Apple’s big-screen TV was a no-show at WWDC, but analysts say it’s coming soon
News: Anki’s AI cars show off App Store strength

News: Apple sees chance to compete with Office on the web
News: iWork for iCloud highlights productivity suite update

iTunes Radio
News: Apple gets into the stream of things with iTunes Radio



Leave a Comment

Please keep your comments friendly on the topic.

Contact us