The recent launch of Apple’s latest operating system, OS X Mountain Lion, saw the inclusion of Safari 6, the Cupertino company’s latest iteration of their popular web browser.
They’ve also added a host of welcome features including an integrated address and search bar (first seen in Google’s Chrome), the ability to save web pages to an offline reading list, ‘iCloud tabs’ (which allows the user to access open tabs from their other Apple devices), a smart, scrollable overview of currently open tabs, social media share and much more.
Safari 6 is available for both the Lion and Mountain Lion versions of Apple’s desktop operating system. One platform it doesn’t appear to be available for, however, is Windows, as it has been noted that nearly every trace of the ‘W’ word has been removed from Apple’s website.
It is largely agreed in tech circles that it is highly unlikely Safari 6 will make its way to the Windows platform, essentially making the last version the end of the road for ported app. The silence from Apple on the subject is deafening – and telling.
What does this mean for web developers? Some industry experts claim it matters very little. They cite the lack of a Safari update for Window as largely irrelevant, based on the fact that usage of the platform is relatively small and web developers should be testing their work on native applications.
This will come as a bit of a blow to developers who work solely in the Windows domain. Despite reassurance from an Apple representative that Safari 5 will continue to be available for Windows, the inability to test website on the latest version – unless a Mac is to hand – will prove problematic for smaller web developers with limited resources.
It’s hard to argue with the logic, though. Testing websites on what is essentially a non-native app isn’t going to offer cast-iron, dependable results and, while it may be one investment unaccounted for, it could be time for Windows-based web designers to dig deep and purchase a Mac.