Swift – The first webkit browser for windows
Swift is a web browser for windows XP which is based on the Webkit rendering engine also used by Apple’s Safari. Nowadays, there is a Windows version of Apple’s Safari itself, but back in 2006 when you wanted the safari experience but were stuck with Windows XP, choices were few.
Swift changed that. With the release of that first freeware Webkit browser on Windows you could enjoy the browsing features of the Apple Macintosh on a Windows system for the very first time.
Swift is a fully functional browser that renders webpages very fast. Webkit, the excellent rendering engine used in the safari and shiira is fully implemented. It features a modal/tabbed interface and some other basic features like a search box, but beyond that there’s not too much luxury.
The main audience at time of release were web developers wanting to know what those sites will look like in Apple Safari on the Macintosh or an ipad or iPhone. This is still a very important step when designing a website though it tends to be a bit neglected. Now, with Safari released for the Windows platform this is not an issue anymore. But Swift provided the first possibility to run that test without having an Apple Product at your disposal. Of course, Swift was [and still is] in early alpha stage, but to get a feel of what a site would look like on the Mac you neither need bookmarks nor context menus or other, fancier stuff.
Unfortunately, with the release of Safari full Windows PCs the development of Swift stopped, so the versions that are still publicly downloadable are still in their early alpha stage.
All in all, it is very much possible that the release of the Swift browser and the subsequent public attention could ver well have been a strong signal to Apple and could possibly have acted as the trigger for their decision to release a Safari version for the Windows platform, which happened just about a year later.
So, even if Swift is outdated by now, it still has the honor of being the first web browser to introduce Webkit rendering on the PC platform.
If you want to give it try you can still download it here:
There is also a swift version for iphone,ipad & ipod:
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