Apple Releases Safari 4 Beta for Mac and PC


This week, Apple released a public beta edition of its popular web browser platform Safari, the fourth installment of the program. The new edition of Safari comes with a brand new JavaScript engine and full support for the latest web standards. Its beta build was originally codenamed “Nitro” as a reference to the much faster performing engine that reportedly processes JavaScript a full 4.2 times quicker that the engine in Safari 3.  What should make PC users really turn their heads is that Apple is reporting Safari 4 will process JavaScript a jaw-dropping 30 times faster than Internet Explorer 7 and over three times faster than FireFox 3. Apple did admit in its press release that performance findings are dependent on system configuration, network connection, and the all-encompassing “other factors”, which weren’t explained in detail.

The tests were conducted on an Intel-based iMac computer. However, the computer was running Microsoft Vista at the time of the tests through the popular Boot Camp program that is built within Mac’s Leopard operating system.

On top of the robust faster engine, there are new features such as “Top Sites”, which allows the user a preview of their most frequented websites as well as a full history search and improved tab browsing that the industry saw with the latest Internet Explorer and Firefox releases. A new look for the Windows edition offers font rendering and a native title bar.

Safari 4 will be compatible with the Mac OSX operating system, Windows XP with Service Pack 2 (or higher) installed, and Microsoft Vista. The highly-touted CSS 3 standards are built into Safari 4, which allows the use of reflections, gradients, and precision masks. Safari is built on Apple’s WebKit, the world’s open source project to create the best browser engine and advance the adoption of modern web standards. Browsers that have incorporated the WebKit include Google’s Chrome and mobile platforms for the Nokia and Palm Web OS.


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