Apple ships Safari 4 beta

safariApple today released a public beta of Safari 4 for Mac and Windows systems – implementing a range of improvements, with focus on usability ad speed.

Safari 4 features the new Nitro engine which runs JavaScript 4.2 times faster than Safari 3.

Additional attractions include a Top Sites feature, offering a visual preview of frequently visited pages; Full History Search, to search through titles, web addresses and the complete text of recently viewed pages; Cover Flow, to easily flip through web history or bookmarks; and Tabs on Top, to make tabbed browsing easier and more intuitive.

“Apple created Safari to bring innovation, speed and open standards back into web browsers, and today it takes another big step forward,” said Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “Safari 4 is the fastest and most efficient browser for Mac and Windows, with great integration of HTML 5 and CSS 3 web standards that enables the next generation of interactive web applications.”

Safari 4 is built on advanced browser technologies including the new Nitro JavaScript engine that executes JavaScript up to 30 times faster than IE 7 and more than three times faster than Firefox 3. Safari quickly loads HTML web pages three times faster than IE 7 and almost three times faster than Firefox 3.

The browser also implements support for HTML 5 and CSS 3 for an entirely new class of web applications that feature rich media, graphics and fonts. Safari 4 includes HTML 5 support for offline technologies so web-based applications can store information locally without an Internet connection, and is the first browser to support advanced CSS Effects that enable highly polished web graphics using reflections, gradients and precision masks.

Safari 4 is the first browser to pass the Web Standards Project’s Acid3 test, which examines how well a browser adheres to CSS, JavaScript, XML and SVG web standards that are specifically designed for dynamic web applications.

Safari for Mac, Windows, iPhone and iPod touch are all built on Apple’s WebKit, the world’s fastest and most advanced browser engine. Apple developed WebKit as an open source project to create the world’s best browser engine and to advance the adoption of modern web standards.

Additional features include:

– 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.

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