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Safari 3.1 Adds HTML 5 Audio and Video Tags


Cupertino (CA) - A new version of the Safari web browser for MacOS X and Windows platforms made its debut today. Following right after the first beta release of IE8 and a critical beta release of Firefox 3, Apple says Safari 3.1 is faster than its competition and is the first browser to add support for HTML 5 audio and video tags.

Speed and comfort appear to be emerging as the two key characteristics of the next generation of browsers, so it is not really surprising that Apple is beating that drum with its new Safari version as well. According to the company, version 3.1 offers the best performance in HTML and JavaScript among its rivals Internet Explorer, Firefox and Opera. Plain HTML pages will load in Safari 73% faster than in Firefox 2, 91% faster than in IE7 and 184% faster that in Opera 9, according to benchmark results published by Apple in the Safari product overview.

Safari 3.1 is also the first (final version of a) browser to offer some functionality of HTML 5, such as audio and video tags (, ), which define the integration multimedia content into webpages, including audio and video streams.

Apple has added a few more new features such as support for CSS3 web fonts to provide access to a greater font variety, CSS animation (which enables web developers to scale, rotate, fade and skew elements of web pages), HTML5 offline storage support (allowing web developers to store certain information on client PC to accelerate page load times) and improved support for scalable vector graphics (SVG).

Safari 3.1 can be downloaded free of charge for Mac OS X Leopard, Mac OS X Tiger, Windows XP and Windows Vista from the company’s website.