The Macs, Windows PCs, ChromeBooks, and iPads I manage at a private Chicagoland school get updated. Not. Right. Now. We have a few of each which receive the latest and greatest and we walk through a few tests to ensure the updates can be rolled out to hundreds and hundreds of users. Browsers are a different story.
Browsers tend to be one area of applications– Mac, iPhone and iPad, even Windows PCs– where living on the edge doesn’t cause many hiccups a long the way. Apple even makes checking out upcoming Safari versions easy with the latest Safari Technology Previews. It is Safari of the future so you may run into bugs, but the Tech Preview version also runs alongside the Safari already installed on your Mac. Or, you can get really bleeding edge with the open source WebKit browser that forms the basis for Safari.
Is this living on the edge? Yes. Is a Safari Technology Preview version considered bleeding edge?
Safari itself, including the Preview version, is based upon what is called WebKit, which is more browser platform than just a browser for surfing the web.
WebKit is the web browser engine used by Safari, Mail, App Store, and many other apps on macOS, iOS, and Linux.
If you want to really get a handle on what is coming down the road in Safari, WebKit is the place to start. And, as usual, it runs side-by-side with Safari and the Technology Preview versions. Yes, this is getting to the edge of bleeding edge.
One of my favorite browsers these days is Firefox. It has more privacy and security options than Safari or Google Chrome, plus it’s easily the fastest browser on a Mac. Again, if bleeding edge is your game, Mozilla provides both a Firefox Beta and a Developer Edition, plus a real bleeding edge option– the Nightly builds.
Google’s Chrome browser is the most used browser on planet earth which should tell you that most people are not concerned about privacy. But Chrome has a Beta version, too; available for macOS, Windows, Linux, Android OS, and iOS.
For the most part, beta browsers have given me fewer problems than beta or preview versions of other applications on my Mac, iPhone, or iPad. Apple’s procedure for pushing new applications starts with a developer version, then a public preview, then a public version is released, and that sequence helps to keep new bugs to a minimum when the app is released to the general public.
I do not recall the last time a beta or preview app crashed my Mac, so maybe we’re not living as much on the bleeding edge as we once were.