This week sees the release of several new web browsers for us all to play with, hot on the heels of its big brother, Opera Mobile 9.7 was released yesterday as a beta, Mozilla have announced a developer release of Firefox 3.5 and Apple have officially released version 4 of Safari and removed its beta tag.
Opera Mobile 9.7
Last week saw the release of an Opera 10 beta, this week Opera have released a beta of mobile 9.7 (available for win mobile 6.1 only at the minute, a blackberry and android versions are in the works).
What surprised me a little was that we were in the middle of a beta for version 9.5, which has now disappeared with no update off Opera to the beta mailing list. The 9.5 beta hadn’t been updated since early February so it does make a little sense that the updates to the mobile version of Opera would result in a jump in version numbers. I download the update yesterday and i have to agree with Opera, the browsing speed has greatly improved even with their new turbo browsing feature turned off. Apart from the browsing speed I couldn’t tell much difference between 9.5 and 9.7 and the feature list is pretty much identical. One interesting addition in 9.7 is the inclusion of dragonfly (operas answer to firebug) Bug fixing via mobile hasn’t really been on my development check list, more of an after thought, but as more and more people use their mobiles for browsing I think Opera have pulled one out of the bag by including dragonfly with the browser.
Mozilla yesterday released a developer version (post-beta but pre-rc) of Firefox 3.5 to enable us to do some final testing before they push out the release candidate of 3.5. As mentioned several time in the past, 3.5 brings a whole host of new features: html 5 entities, improved css, and not forgetting the almost mythical @font-face rule. All developers should digest the feature list soon as possible. The RC is expected to be released within the next week or two and a push to general release couple of weeks later. Download the latest release from the beta channel.
Apple also stuck their finger in the browser release pie by announcing an end of the Safari 4 beta at their Worldwide Developers Conference. Safari 4 also includes more support for html5 and css3 entities and its own version of PORN private browsing mode. You can download Safari 4 direct from the safari homepage or read more about “whats in” safari on the new features page, although not much it seems…
It wouldnt be fair to not mention an update for Google Chrome while Im talking about browser updates. While their hasnt been all that much pumping out of the developer channel for chrome recently there has been some good news for linux and mac fans. Early developer builds of chrome are now available for both platforms but developers have urged your to NOT download them, unless of course you enjoy potential crashes and an incomplete browser. Might be worth a dabble tho…