Apple Debuts Safari 4 Public Beta Browser

Apple has unveiled the latest iteration of its browser, Safari, for Mac and Windows PC, calling it the fastest and most innovative browser ever with more than 150 features although only a fraction are new ones.

The browser now supports CSS effects natively as well as compliance with Acid 3 standards; it also comes with HTML 5 Offline Support and speculative loading which allows documents, scripts and style information to be pre-emptively loaded.

The most impressive piece of technology though has to be the Nitro engine which Apple claims runs Javascript more than four times faster compared to the previous Safari 3. Apple also claims that Nitro is 30x faster than IE7 at executing JS code.

This and other tweaks have helped Apple improve the browser's speed tremendously. Safari should be able to load web pages around thrice faster than both Internet Explorer 7 and Firefox 3.

Our own subjective tests find that it is faster than Firefox 3 but slightly slower than Google Chrome. Safari lies far ahead of the latter with an estimated 8 percent of the browser marketshare; but it still lags both Firefox and Internet Explorer.

Safari has taken a page out of Opera's and Chrome's Most visited blank page, calling it top sites which provides you with a visual guides of frequently visited websites.

Even more impressive is the iTunes-que Bookmark navigation that integrates Cover Flow, allowing you to browse through your bookmarks and bookmark history.

Go To Page 2 for our comments and more related links

Our Comments

Are we impressed? Yes. It might still be labelled Beta but it is only academic. That said, as with most recent browser, Safari consumes **a lot** of memory resources. With 3 tabs open, it is growing by the minute currently showing 152MB. The browser is quite similar to Google Chrome with strategic buttons/tools situated on the same side and only some minor differences.

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