Safari 4 hits 11 million downloads in first three days


12 Jun 2009

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Apple’s latest version of its Safari web browser has fared rather well in the first days of its release with 11 million downloads, of which a hefty six million-plus have been installed in Windows machines.

Safari 4 has some new innovations, including Top Sites, which shows the user a collage of their favourite sites within one window, and Cover Flow, a UI (User Interface) feature brought in from iTunes that allows for flipping through site history or bookmarks like you would through album covers.

For Windows users installing Safari 4, the web browser has a native look, so the title bar, borders and toolbars are consistent with the operating system’s look and feel, whether it is Vista or XP. It also allows for using Windows standard fonts, if you wish.

The best innovation in Safari 4 is the fact that, as Apple says, it is the fastest browser on the market – faster than Chrome, Firefox or Internet Explorer. The new Nitro JavaScript engine executes JavaScript almost eight times faster than IE 8 and more than four times faster than Firefox 3, based on performance in leading industry benchmark tests iBench and SunSpider.

For web developers, Safari 4 has HTML 5 support for offline technologies, as well as support for advanced CSS Effects, enabling advanced Web 2.0 applications and graphics, while also being the first browser to pass the Web Standards Project’s Acid3 test (this tests how well a browser adheres to standards in CSS, XML and JavaScript, relating to dynamic web apps).

Other features include the built-in Google Suggest for predictive intelligent search, as well as full zoom capabilities to make the smallest text large while retaining image quality.

However, this will all be even better when the new Snow Leopard Mac OS X comes on the market this September Apple said, because this will boost the performance of the Nitro JavaScript engine by up to 50pc and make Safari more crash resistant.

Safari 4 is available for download now from Apple.com.

By Marie Boran