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HTML5: Firefox, Chrome surge as Safari sags [u]

1 February 2012 1,771 views One Comment

Apple released Safari 5 on June 7, 2010 and over 18 months later we’re still using a dot-variant thereof. Whether intended or not — Steve Jobs had just declared war on Adobe Flash — that D-Day anniversary marked the beginning of a flurry of HTML5 development and underscored Apple’s commitment to the nascent standard.

In the year plus months since Safari 5 first shipped, Google and then Mozilla cranked out whole number releases one after another and, it has to be said, they’re not much (your mileage will vary) better than Apple’s browser.

Nevertheless, however you measure it, Safari isn’t leading in the browser space and has definitely lost its edge vis-a-vis HTML5 compatibility:

• Chrome 16: 373 (342)
• Firefox 10: 332 (314)
• SeaMonkey 2.5: 332 (287)
• Opera 11.5.2: 329 (268)
• Safari 5.1.3: 317 (308) [u]
• iOS 5.0.1 (iPad): 305 (296)

[u] Apple released OS X 10.7.3, which includes Safari 5.1.3 and that doesn’t move the browser’s HTML5 compatibility score one way or another.

But do these numbers matter? Perhaps as a point of pride for the combatants, yet for users such as myself (Safari is my primary browser), Apple’s browser delivers the web just fine — movies, animations and audio all display just fine.

For example, if you visit HTML5games.com and choose to play Solitairey, it works just fine on Safari, Opera, Firefox and Chrome, but not so much on the iPad.

Where do we go from here?

FWIW, my test Mac is a 2007 iMac running OS X 10.7.2.

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