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Safari 4: world's fastest and most innovative web browser

VIEWS: 562 PAGES: 4

Apple declared it as "world's fastest and most innovative web browser"...why are u late to check it's features???

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									Features of Safari 4
Apple on Monday released a finalized version of Safari 4, which the company is billing as the "world's fastest and most innovative web browser." Available for Mac and Windows PCs and introduced as a beta in February of this year, Safari 4 features the Nitro engine which runs JavaScript up to 4.5 times faster than its predecessor. "The successful beta release helped us fine tune Safari 4 into an even better, faster version that customers are going to love," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. "Safari is enjoyed by 70 million users worldwide and with its blazing fast speed, innovative features and support for modern web standards, it's the best browser on any platform."

Safari 4 is built on some of the most advanced browser technologies including the new Nitro JavaScript engine that executes JavaScript nearly eight times faster than IE 8 and more than four times faster than Firefox 3, according to Apple's tests. The company also claims that Safari quickly loads HTML web pages more than three times faster than IE 8 and three times faster than Firefox 3. Starting with the development of the open source WebKit browser engine, Apple has been an industry leader in defining and implementing innovative web standards. Safari 4 includes HTML 5 support for offline technologies and support for advanced CSS Effects, enabling an entirely new class of web applications that feature rich media, graphics and fonts. Safari 4 is also 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 standards that are specifically designed for dynamic web applications.

Other new features in Safari 4 include: -- Top Sites, offering a visual preview of frequently visited and favorite 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. -- Smart Address Fields for automatically completing web addresses from an easy to read list of suggestions -- Search Fields, to 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. In Mac OS X Snow Leopard, available later this year, Safari runs as a 64-bit application, boosting the performance of the Nitro JavaScript engine by up to 50 percent. Apple says Snow Leopard makes Safari more resistant to crashes by running plug-ins in a separate process, so even if a plug-in crashes, Safari continues to run and the user simply has to reload the affected page.

Pricing & Availability Safari 4 is available for both Mac OS X and Windows as a free download. Safari 4 for Mac OS X requires Mac OS X Leopard v10.5.7 or Mac OS X Tiger v10.4.11 and Security Update 2009-002, a minimum

256MB of memory and is designed to run on any Intel-based Mac or a Mac with a PowerPC G5, G4 or G3 processor and built-in FireWire. Safari 4 for Windows requires Windows XP SP2 or Windows Vista, a minimum 256MB of memory and a system with at least a 500 MHz Intel Pentium processor.

Safari 4 beta : first impression

We've spent a little bit of time checking out Safari 4 Beta on both Windows and Mac, and here's what we like (and don't like) so far:

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Windows On Windows, if you've never used Safari but used Chrome or Opera, it'll actually feel a lot like that, with the overhead tabs, Speed Dial, and even a few Chrome icons. After years of shunning standard Windows UI elements—which seemed especially dicky in a way, given how anal Apple can be about standardized UI themselves—Apple is actually playing nice. It's got the usual minimize, maximize and exit buttons, standard fonts and even real Windows shortcuts like Ctrl+Tab to cycle through tabs, so it actually mostly feels like it belongs on Windows now. Well, except for placing the X to kill tabs on the left side, which is annoying 'cause on Windows it should be on the right. I'm still not quite sure how I feel about the pitch black look of the top tabs in Windows when the window is maximized if your default window color is one of the darker shades—yeah, it matches, but I think Chrome's approach, with blue tabs set down a little bit that are easy to distinguish, works a little better. Overall, I think I prefer the tabs on top, at least in Windows. What I love for sure is that there's an actual arrow on the right side which you grab to tear off the tab into a new window—which results in a cool little pop-out

animation, like it was a squished up sponge or something—because I'm always accidentally tearing off tabs in Firefox when I just wanted to move it down the line. Speed is actually not incredibly important in a way—loading sites like ESPN, the New York Times and Slate against Firefox 3.0.6 and Chrome 1.0.154, honestly, they're all pretty damn quick, averaging around 3 seconds, though on super-Javascript heavy pages Safari 4 and Chrome, both based on Webkit, perceptibly edge out Firefox. Top Sites is pretty slow to load the first time you fire up Safari 4, but then it's instant. You can't manually add sites—it's automagical—and once you delete 'em they're gone. A star pops up in the top right corner when there's something new at that page, which is a nice touch. Cover Flow moves smoothly, at first, but can get jerky if trying to move through a ton of sites at once. I hate how it replaces what ever site you're looking at if you just click the icon—you have to make a icon or middle-click so it does load over whatever you're lookin' at. The smart search bar brings up suggestions from Google much faster than Firefox does, but the actual address bar is nowhere near as brilliant. It only pulls suggestions using the main part of the URL (before .com or .net or whatever), not from anything after a slash, or even the page's title. For instance, if you start typing "giz" and you've been to Gizmodo, it'll bring up Gizmodo. But typing Safari, even if you've been to Apple's Safari pages, won't bring up anything since it's not safari.com. As some have noted, the blue progress is gone, which is annoying, but I didn't notice it initially if that tells you anything. Full search history seems like the crowning navigational jewel here. It actually searches the text of websites you've visited, and even with fifty or so pages in my history so far, it's really fast and works well. I just wish it made it more clear where on the page the text was located before you click, and how many instances there were, though otherwise the use of Cover Flow is nice. It gobbles resources in Windows: With 14 tabs open, it ate over 400MB of RAM. Overall, I think it's a lot more Windows-friendly than the initial Windows versions of Safari, and its excellent performance (if your system can stand up to its resource consumption) actually makes it worth taking a look at again if you didn't like it originally (I sure as hell didn't). It doesn't have the Mr. Fantastic-style extendability of Firefox and it's not quite as stripped down as Chrome, but it tries to balance between feature rich and clean, and doesn't do a bad job.

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Mac Despite its Windows improvements, the new UI does look much better on OS X overall—the new tabs on top look works really well, I think, though its break with a more standard OS X layout might vastly annoy some people. Also History and Cover Flow look and feel more natural on Mac too. Another Mac perk: Multitouch zooming, which lets you manipulate the new full-page zoom with iPhone pinch gestures. It's not silky smooth, but definitely slick—it's actually a lot like browsing a page on the iPhone, especially if you're using two-finger scroll to pan and stuff. Speed difference between Safari 4 and Firefox is a bit more noticeable in OS X. It doesn't kill Firefox, but there's definitely a difference. Cover Flow runs more smoothly, from what I'm seeing, without the jerkiness I got on Windows sometimes, though full history search isn't any quicker—but that's still plenty fast. It does use resources more efficiently in OS X than in Windows: Those same 14 tabs only ate about 230MB of memory. While it's hard to speak to stability yet and whether or not you should use it as your main browser, it seems okay so far and the new features and UI make it worth grabbing, even if you wanna hang on to a more stable build of Safari or Firefox in the meantime.


								
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