Apple has released a new beta version of its Web browser, Safari. The company claims that Beta (v60), version number 0.8.2, improves the compatibility with popular Web sites based on Safari user feedback, further improves the performance of loading Web pages and Flash content, adds support for XML, increases standards conformance and delivers improved application stability. The update also enables access to Web sites that offer self-signed security certificates, according to Apple.

Apple says that, with the help of user feedback, it has improved compatibility with the top 50 Web sites that users contacted them about. The new beta also improves overall browser performance - delivering a 30 per cent performance increase, according to Apple. The company also claims that Flash content is now five times faster.

The Safari update adds support for the XML standard and enhanced support of CSS1 for Web sites that use cascading style sheets.

Safari 1.0 beta v60 (0.8.2) is available for download from Apple's Web site or via the Software Update control panel in Mac OS X. In order for Software Update to notify you, your old version of Safari must be in the top level of the Applications folder.

Reports positive User feedback to the new update is positive, although many still complain of “missing” features such as tabbed browsing and autofill. Online banking , too, appears to still require a more mature browser.

“The only complaint I've had with Safari is the first window not anchoring itself in the top corner of my screen. I hated having to click the max button every time I opened the browser. Apple listened, and they fixed it! Maybe not that big a deal, but I am ecstatic!” said one happy Safarian.

Another reported: “There is a whopping increase in speed on my computer. I think it is close to 100 per cent faster on my computer. There was always a hang up before, but now the pages fly.”

“A site of mine with complex tables now works fine, and I don't have to change it. Phew!” gasped a relieved webmaster.

One new-beta user reported that “my Safari browser runs Flash faster then Internet Explorer”.