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Your humble host can be alternatively be found haunting these here tubes under many a different guise; I'd recommend starting your inquest at his usual place of residence. And there's always the Twitter.

WebKit 3, mobile release?

It seems to me that the 1.1.2 release of the iPhone firmware packaged a version of MobileSafari that is substantially faster at loading large pages, especially JavaScript-heavy pages. This is entirely speculative, but it looks like the iPhone surreptitiously got in on the new hotness that is WebKit 3.

Apple released both 10.5.1 and 10.4.11 recently, updating Tiger to ensure that even the previous OS had access to all the good new stuff in WebKit 3. As 1.1.2 was released just about the same time as these updates to OS X, it seems entirely logical that Apple pushed these changes into "mobile" OS X as well, especially considering all the talk about JavaScript's unfortunate performance on the iPhone to date.

Anyone done any digging? Let me know.

Update: Swannman suggested a simple-yet-effective method I'd completely missed for proof: user agent strings! Without further adieu, the proof is in the pudding:

-- Safari 3 on 10.5.1 reports:
Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; Intel Mac OS X; en-us)
AppleWebKit/523.10.3 (KHTML, like Gecko)
Version/3.0.4 Safari/523.10

-- MobileSafari on iPhone 1.1.2 reports:
Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU like Mac OS X; en-us)
AppleWebKit/420.1 (KHTML, like Gecko)
Version/3.0 Safari/419.3

So while it looks like MobileSafari on 1.1.2 may not be running the latest-and-greatest version of WebKit, it is definitely endowed with a version in the 3.0 family, and one I'd gather has the majority of the speed increases touted in the "10 new things" post.

Now the really interesting question: what user agent does MobileSafari prior to 1.1.2 purport to be? Anyone with an older iPhone OS version can quickly hit this link and fire an email my way with the results, so we can put this one to rest once and for all.