Safari 4 enters public beta

24 Feb 2009

Apple has just released a public beta of the latest version of its web browser Safari. The Nitro engine in the new incarnation of Safari promises new functionality, including faster-running JavaScript – 4.2 times faster than Safari 3, in fact.

Apple also claims that Safari 4 executes JavaScript up to 30 times faster than Internet Explorer (IE) 7 and over three times faster than Firefox 3, as well as loading HTML webpages three times faster than IE 7 and nearly three times faster than Firefox 3.

Big promises, but this is all down to the new Nitro JavaScript engine, says Apple, which is the world’s most-advanced browser technology.

Other new features include Top Sites, which gives a visual preview of frequently visited pages, as well as full history search for looking through webpage titles, web addresses and the complete text of recently viewed pages.

Cover Flow is also integrated into Safari, so users can flip through web history or bookmarks.

Also, ‘tabs on top’ means that Safari finally has decent tabbed browsing capability. Finally!

Safari 4 is also the first browser to pass the Web Standards Project’s Acid3 test, which examines how well a browser handles the standards for CSS, JavaScript, XML and SVG.

“Apple created Safari to bring innovation, speed and open standards back into web browsers, and today it takes another big step forward,” said Philip 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,” he added.

By Marie Boran

For more gadget-related and digital-life stories, visit