Apple steps up Safari’s game with 60% faster performance according to shiny new browser benchmark Speedometer 3.0

Apple steps up Safari’s game with 60% faster performance according to shiny new browser benchmark Speedometer 3
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Safari users are in for some good news, as Apple claims that users of its web browser can expect significantly better performance from the browser and its WebKit browser engine (which is primarily used in Safari). 

The news was shared by Apple in an official WebKit blog post, following its announcement of Speedometer 3.0, the latest iteration of Apple’s browser benchmark made in collaboration with other browser engine developers. It explains that the introduction of Speedometer 3.0 will usher in an era of faster web use in general, allowing web developers to make web apps and websites unlike those seen before, and Apple itself will be making sure that Safari and WebKit take advantage of the new technology. 

According to 9to5Mac, the way that Speedometer 3.0 captures information and calculates scores will allow for more detailed findings and give web developers new capabilities. 

A close up of a man typing on a MacBook keyboard

(Image credit: Shutterstock/wutzkohphoto)

Putting the pedal to the medal 

The website explains that the various optimizations that were carried out on Safari saw its Speedometer score increase by about 60% between Safari version 17.0 and version 17.4. It concludes by predicting that this will lead to improved Safari performance, enabling developers to build websites and web apps that are “more responsive and snappier than ever.”

Companies such as Google, Intel, Microsoft, and Mozilla collaborated with Apple to create an improved shared user experience. Apple says this is to make sure browser testing is fair to whatever browser is subjected to it. It also means that the work involved in creating the new benchmarks didn’t fall on a single company.

This is promising messaging from Apple and in an almost out-of-character collaborative spirit. Developers who work on optimizing browser engines, as well as independent browser testers and reviewers, found the previous iteration of the Speedometer benchmark a useful tool in their work. Apple further claims that Speedometer 3.0 will improve upon this with improved testing accuracy and will enable the performance testing of a wide variety of contents.

A close up of a person paying for something on Amazon with a card using Safari

(Image credit: Shutterstock/Hadrian)

Kudos to the Safari team for its collaborative endeavors

On a tangentially related note, competing browser developers are effectively forced to use Apple’s own WebKit browser engine for their browsers if they want their browsers to be in the App Store, except for regions where the law has forced them to allow browser engine developers to use whatever engines they prefer (such as the EU). If they’re not giving browser developers much of a choice in certain regions, it’s at least a positive note that they’re working to make WebKit the best browser engine it can be when developers have to use it.

I commend Apple for this effort and development, and I think it will mean a better browser experience both for Safari users and users of other browsers. While Apple can sometimes appear to be aloof and uncooperative, developments like this by its Safari team show that it’s fully capable of the opposite, so hopefully, it will continue to do this more often when it’s clear that there are potential user benefits for everyone – not just its customers.



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