Apple’s much loved and sometimes hated Safari browser is at version 10.x since being released to the Mac in 2003 with OS X Panther, and in 2007 with the original iPhone. So, after 13 years, why is Safari only at version 10? And what’s with Mozilla’s Firefox and Google’s Chrome, two popular browsers that started life after Apple’s Safari yet have far higher version numbers?
#1, #2, #4
No, those are not Twitter hashtags. They’re rankings. The number one most used browser on planet earth belongs to Google’s Chrome, popular on Windows PCs, the Mac, most Android smartphones and tablets, and even has standing on Apple’s iPhone and iPad.
Wait. What? How is that possible? Has not the top spot always been Microsoft’s aging Internet Explorer? Yes. It. Was. But that was then and this is now and since IE was the most used browser a few things have occurred to mankind, not the least of which is the decline of traditional PCs and the rapid growth of mobile devices.
Putting mobile and traditional together yields a different picture. Google Chrome remains numero uno because it fares well on Macs, and in some stats, tops Microsoft’s own IE, which has been in decline for years.
Well, that must mean IE is #2, right? Nope. #2 belongs to Apple’s Safari; not so much because of its dominant position on the Mac, but because of the more than 1-billion iPhones and iPads in use worldwide. Microsoft has no presence to speak of in the mobile device arena, so IE slips to #3, while Mozilla’s Firefox drops to #4. Statistics vary, of course, and can be divided into website usage and just lying around on a PC or smartphone and not being used.
How is it that Chrome and Firefox made it to versions 54.x and 50.x respectively? Both Google and Mozilla have adopted a rolling upgrade system while Apple’s Safari upgrades and versions remain more traditional. Safari hasn’t even averaged a 1.x upgrade per year since 2003.
Firefox just made it to version 50.x but unlike Safari runs on Windows, Mac, iOS, as well as Linux and Android. Unfortunately, Firefox does not yet maintain feature parity between platforms, so what works on a Mac doesn’t work the same on an iPhone.
Regardless, I’m willing to state that we have entered the Golden Age of Browsers. All major browsers have extension functionality, render pages well if not exactly the same. Plus, they’re faster than ever, cluttered up with excess features only if you want them to, and all have popular ad blockers available to make the browser experience faster and easier on the eyes.
Did I mention what Mac360 did to help speed up page loads? No. More. Trackers. All of our advertisers have two basic requirements. First, their products or services must be Apple-centric. Second, no tracking. That means your visit here goes untracked by Mac360 and advertisers which makes browsing the site more secure.
Regardless of which browser you use, you’ll have to admit we’ve come a long way since Mosaic crawled down a Mac’s screen trying to render a GIF or JPG.