Apple Updates Mac OS X Safari to 4.0.4 -- Raises Stakes in JavaScript Wars

Apple has just released desktop Safari for Mac and Windows to 4.0.4, which improves full history search performance, has the mandatory stability improvements, and security fixes (opens in new tab), but the big news as far as we're concerned is the number one item on the list -- Improved JavaScript performance

Desktop Safari is the big brother of the iPhone's Mobile OS X Safari, and they share a rendering engine (WebKit), and a JavaScript engine (Nitro), and improvements in desktop Safari and Nitro have traditionally filtered down to Mobile Safari with the subsequent iPhone OS update. That's right, we're looking at you iPhone 3.2 (where ever you are!)

Since the current iPhone 3.1 Safari is still outperforming even brand-new devices like the Droid, that may seem a little greedy, but we know Google's Android and Palm's webOS aren't sitting still in the rendering race, and have updates of their own in the pipeline, so once again, competition benefits the end users. Bring. It..

Rene Ritchie
Contributor

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

13 Comments
  • yes can't wait for the next iPhone update, maybe a bonus google navigation to be included???? I hope so!
  • Comments cleaned up. Please respect each other and the site enough to stay on topic and discuss the story. Thanks!
  • Apple has just released desktop Safari for Mac and Windows to 4.0.4, which improves full history search performance, has the mandatory stability improvements, and security fixes, but the big news as far as we’re concerned is the number one item on the list — Improved JavaScript performance
  • @Rene
    I know this has nothing to do with the article, but just wondering how you got the screenshot of just the Software Update window. Been trying to figure out how to do that for the longest time but still can't. Mind sharing the shortcut?
    Again, sorry for the off topic post.
  • Command Shift 4
  • @Ringo: Open screenshot in photo editing application. Crop out background. Add drop shadow. Save as PNG with transparency.
  • Apple is doing good work with Safari & Webkit. Having said that, I wouldn't ignore Opera's great work with speed and design on Mac, Windows, Linux, and mobile. ;)
    No one tries Opera and says it's slow. All new Opera users are shocked at how fast it is when they play with it for a few days.
    In fact, I think it's a good bet that it's faster in real-world usage (and that's without Opera's next-generation javascript engine, Carakan).
    They've been designing advanced, super-fast, secure browsing for 15 YEARS, and helping ease web developers' pain by aggressively promoting web standards, as well.http://www.opera.com/docs/history/
    Let's give them credit, instead of ignominiously ignoring them. Remember the big picture: IE is the problem. For all intents & purposes Opera, Apple, Mozilla and Google are on the same side with identical objectives for users and developers...
  • @Ringo:
    < https://www.apple.com/pro/tips/screenshots.html#mn_p >
    Btw, glad you & Paul are still hangin' in there, but what's with that lame Apple Corps. thumb drive. ;)
  • labellaglen@gmail.com
    Please contact me for the Biblical answer to the following question: What is God's purpose for mankind?
    Thanks,
    Glen
  • Right, but whence the hypocrisy that Talleyrand found, re: the double standards of these adulterous ‘Christian’ women, excusing their own behavior whilst holding Christian men to a different standard? Certainly, these women aren’t believably Christian, in terms of actual ‘walking-the-walk’ (and not merely ‘talking-the-talk’), but how do they end up with such a double standard? Incredible, to say the least…
  • LOLZ. Yeah, I realize this is a 'snub Adobe' article, especially about concepts such as 'cooperation' and 'trust'.. lots and lots of TRUST, since there's none of that between Adobe and Apple at this point.
    But seriously: Adobe done got PUNKED. Client side, server side, who cares? It. Got. Done.
    Apple doesn't get their platform diddled with by some buggy plugin that they don't wanna track, and MSFT gets to sell a solution that keeps the content firmly in the control of the creator. On the serverside.
  • Please contact me for the Biblical answer to the following question: What is God’s purpose for mankind?
    Thanks, Glen
  • Very good blog.Thank you for sharing.Best wishes !