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This definition is part of our Essential Guide: A guide to modern mobile application development strategies

Safari is Apple's default Web browser for OS X and iOS-based devices.  

In addition to features common to most current browsers, Safari's features include:

  • Nitro JavaScript engine, said to execute JS much faster than Internet Explorer or Firefox.
  • RSS feed aggregator.
  • Synchronization of passwords, bookmarks, history, tabs and Reading List through iCloud.
  • A private browsing mode that doesn't save browsing history or related information.
  • The ability to zoom in on Web page details.
  • Custom style sheets.
  • Integrated Quicktime multimedia player.
  • The ability to archive or email a Web page.
  • Support for VoiceOver, an application that describes Web page content and reads text aloud.
  • Options for keyboard-only navigation.
  • A thumbnail display of the user's most visited sites.
  • Apple's Keychain identify management scheme for password management.
  • Integration with Apple's iWeb software.

Safari was originally released in 2003. The operating system is based upon Apple's Webkit, an application framework based upon two open source frameworks: WebCore and JavascriptCore. The source code for the non-rendering portions of Safari are all available at

The iPhone  and iPod Touch run an adapted version of Safari.


This was last updated in October 2015

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