AOL announced its Mac OS X-compatible browser in the US yesterday, and AOL UK is entering the final stages of testing before it releases the UK version.

Sources confirmed that the release could be just “weeks” behind that of the US browser. In June, the company's spokeswoman, Joss Cole, told Macworld: “Beta testing is going well. There’s a feeling that people are extremely pleased with the look-&-feel of AOL for OS X for the UK.”

At the time, the browser exploited Netscape's Gecko rendering engine. It's not known if this is the case in the final release.

The US release offers a totally redesigned look-&-feel and hosts some features not available on the Windows version of AOLs browser. It supports QuickTime for streaming video and audio content, and will auto-detect what speed of connection its users are on.

Other features of the US release include HTML email messaging, an in-Dock message counter for unread emails, improved buddy lists, and iChat support.

AOL UK took the decision to develop a UK browser for OS X in May this year. The company originally elected to suspend OS X development in November 2001, but changed its mind as it watched the pace of OS X adoption among Apple's customer base.