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24 February 2009, 16:14

Apple releases Safari 4 beta

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Safari combined title and tabs bar with Top Sites page.
Zoom Safari combined title and tabs bar with Top Sites page.
Apple has released a public beta of Safari 4, it's web browser built on the open source WebKit browser engine, for Windows and Mac OS X. Apple are particularly proud of the browsers performance. This is due to a new JavaScript engine, the Nitro Engine, which is said to run several times faster than its predecessor and up to 30 times faster than Internet Explorer 7.

Apple has made several changes to the Safari user interface. The Windows version of Safari now has a more native look and feel so that it blends in better with the XP and Vista GUI (Graphical User Interface). The tab bar has been moved to the top of the window and combined with the title bar to save space, which will benefit notebook users with smaller screens. Top Sites allows for a simple, at-a-glance preview of a users favourite sites by displaying up to 24, clickable thumbnails, on a single page. The Mac OS X version of Safari 4 now allows users to use Cover Flow to look through and search their browsing history, as iTunes does with album cover art.

Many other features have been added that can already be found in Safari's competition, including Google Suggest, Full-Page Zoom, Smart Address Field and integrated Web development tools.

The new beta is available for download now. More details and a full list of features can be found here.

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