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Friday, October 13, 2006, 12:50 pm PT (03:50 pm ET)

Apple-Google collaboration may deliver new Safari tie-ins

Apple Computer's fledgling partnership with Internet search giant Google may provide some new enhancements to Apple's Safari web browser with next year's the release of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard.

People familiar with the matter say the two companies have tossed around the idea of allowing Safari 3.0 to access Google's AntiTrust database through a plug-in or under-the-hood extension.

The tie-in, those people say, would offer Safari users another level of security by automatically detecting "phishy" websites or malicious URLs.

Word of the potential Safari enhancement comes just days after bloggers discovered that Apple may also be working to allow its iPhoto digital photo cataloging application to interact with Google's Maps service.

Previous reports have also suggested that Apple in Leopard would extend its Spotlight search technology to pull search results from Google's search databases. The Mac maker, however, has so far remained relatively mum on its plans for Spotlight in the next-generation operating system.

While unveiling Leopard this past August, Apple chief executive Steve Jobs highlighted 10 major enhancements due in the release but said the company was keeping several other features "top secret" until a later date.

On Thursday, Apple brought the pre-release copy of Leopard available to its developers up to build 9A283. The update delivered "significant user interface changes to iCal," "basic editing in Preview," and "new Parental Controls [...] for content filtering, apps, and curfews."

In a report from earlier this month, AppleInsider also touched on several other features expected in Safari 3.0, including manipulatable browser tabs, in-page lightbox searching, and resizable text areas.