Apple has released beta versions of Safari version 7.0.3 for Mavericks and Safari 6.1.3 for Mountain Lion to developers. The updates should be available to devs via the software update section of the Mac App Store as well as the Mac Dev Center at this writing.
According to MacRumors, the next public version of Safari could include several new features, including the addition of push notifications, login credential autofill, credit card information autofill, and what appears to be an expansion of Safari’s compatibility with respect to browser extensions. There’s also a vague reference to improving “general website compatibility” with these releases.
With these developer-focused updates for Safari, it seems as if Apple is putting an increased emphasis on ease of use and an expansion of features via third-party sources (extension developers). Browser extensions are plug-in apps that can add new layers of functionality to a browser in multiple ways, and are available across other popular browsers as well, including Internet Explorer, Firefox and Google Chrome.
Safari usage lagged significantly behind its competitors in 2013. It looks like Apple thinks it could improve on those numbers by doubling down on extension support and by making usage more convenient. Whether such additions to Safari’s feature set, should they ultimately see the light of day, will help to increase its popularity remain to be seen.
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