For a long time web developers have been complaining about the lack of updates (and modern features / APIs) for Safari. With the current release cycle for Safari we get a major updated version with every major OS release (which only happens once a year). This release cycle, and the lack of new features in Safari made some people go as far as calling Safari the new IE.
NowApple has launched Safari Technology Preview. Developers can use this browser to try out new web features way before they land in the consumer version of Safari. The developer version is based off the WebKit Nightly Builds and will contain the latest and greatest features that were added to the WebKit platform. According to the The Next Web Apple will be updating the Technology Preview version of their browser approximately every two weeks, which is a lot more than they are updating the main browser.
When comparing this browser with the Chrome Canary we should consider Canary as more of a playground, features are going to change a lot before making it to the Chrome browser or could disappear completely. The Safari Technology Preview is intended as a browser that provides people with features that are intended to be shipped (and are mostly ready for production).
So why is this great news?
In the title of this post I mentioned that I think the Safari Technology Preview is great news. The reason I consider this great news is that if Apple sticks to their plan and updates this Preview every two weeks, it might be a sign that Apple intends to ship more updates for the main Safari browser as well. The Technology Preview might just be Apple’s way of experimenting with a faster release cycle for their consumer product. Also, if developers start developing for the Preview platform they are testing new features out in the wild, which just might give Apple the confidence to release new features to end-users more rapidly once they now a certain feature work well in real life.
All in all I really like this move from Apple and it might make Safari a more solid, robust, modern and up-to-date browser than it is today.