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Apple Announces Beta for Safari 4 Browser



safari4Ah, browser wars. They are such fun, aren’t they? Apple just upped its ante with the release of a beta of Safari 4, which they claim is 3 times faster than anything else on the market. The Safari 4 browser includes what they are calling “The Nitro Engine” that supposedly runs javaScript 4.2 four times faster than on Safari 3. I don’t have much time to check this out and since I don’t use Safari on a Tablet or even my iMac (I use Firefox or Google Chrome mostly) I’m no a good comparison tester here. So, if anyone gives this a try let us know what you think.

You can download the beta for both Mac and Windows here. See what else is under the hood after the jump.

  • Innovative new features in Safari 4 include:
  • Top Sites, a display of frequently visited pages in a stunning wall of previews so users can jump to their favorite sites with a single click;
  • Full History Search, where users search through titles, web addresses and the complete text of recently viewed pages to easily return to sites they’ve seen before;
  • Cover Flow, to make searching web history or bookmarks as fun and easy as paging through album art in iTunes ®;
  • Tabs on Top, for better tabbed browsing with easy drag-and-drop tab management tools and an intuitive button for opening new ones;
  • Smart Address Field, that automatically completes web addresses by displaying an easy-to-read list of suggestions from Top Sites, bookmarks and browsing history;
  • Smart Search Field, where users fine-tune searches with recommendations from Google Suggest or a list of recent searches;
  • Full Page Zoom, for a closer look at any website without degrading the quality of the site’s layout and text;
  • built-in web developer tools to debug, tweak and optimize a website for peak performance and compatibility; and
  • a new Windows-native look in Safari for Windows, that uses standard Windows font rendering and native title bar, borders and toolbars so Safari fits the look and feel of other Windows XP and Windows Vista applications.


  1. Tim

    02/24/2009 at 3:16 pm

    Reading through some of the details of these features I can’t help but notice that Apple is calling some of its new features “innovative” when other browsers have had them for ages. Tabs on Top is a combination of Google Chrome’s location with the tabbed browsing abilities I have in Firefox already. Same with Smart Search and Smart Address Field.

    There’s also a nice jab at Windows in the native Windows appearance section.

    On the bright side, Full History Search sounds promising, but I wonder how much storage space it uses.

  2. CLC

    02/24/2009 at 3:48 pm

    The whole thing looks just like Chrome only with a Safari flare. So far, almost the whole thing looks and functions like Chrome, as far as I can see. *rolls eyes* How many times have I heard Apple users touting Apple originality?

  3. duffy

    02/24/2009 at 7:48 pm

    I hope there are some similarities between Chrome and Safari. Chrome is built using Webkit which is also the foundation for Safari. Webkit was developed by Apple and released as an open source project.

  4. Philip Seyfi

    02/25/2009 at 2:42 am

    @duffy: What??? WebKit wasn’t developed from scratch by Apple, it is an extension of several open-source projects from Linux so they simply couldn’t leave it closed-source…

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