Wed, 25 Feb 2009 First Look Review: Safari 4 Beta
Improvements abound in updated browser
- Manufacturer: Apple
- Pros: Fast due to Nitro Engine, HTML 5 and CSS effects support, ability to know which sites have updates in Top Sites, searches text online as well as URL's you have visited, full-blown Web inspector, true Windows-native appearance.
- Cons: Hard to hand-time any differences in loading speed on fast connections, “love it” or “hate it” new tab location, still a beta release.
- Min specs: Compatible with Mac OSX 10.4.11 (Tiger), 10.5.6 (Leopard), Safari 4 requires Security Update 2009-001. Safari 4 is designed to run on any Intel-based Mac or a Mac with a PowerPC G5, G4 or G3 processor and built-in FireWire.
- Price: Free
- Star rating:
Apple released a public beta of Safari 4 for both OS X and Windows on Tuesday, declaring that this new version is loaded with more than 150 features, many of them new. Safari 4 represents quite a technical leap over the previous version of the browser.
So which of those new features are you most likely to find interesting, useful, or possibly even a bit disruptive? (If you’re curious as to why some of these features were added, Jason Snell shares his thoughts on that subject.)
Built for speed
Still, Safari 4 feels quite peppy on even the heaviest of sites. It also passes the Acid3 test, which checks how well a Web browser follows certain Web standards, with a perfect score.
Safari 4 also adds some bleeding-edge web technologies such as HTML 5’s media support (making it easier to add audio and video to Web sites) and offline support (so developers can write web apps that run even without an internet connection); CSS effects (which enable animations, like this example, without a lot of complex code or Flash); and speculative loading (which loads the files required to view a web page before you need them).