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Apple introduces public beta of Safari 4

updated 09:45 am EST, Tue February 24, 2009

Apple posts Safari 4 beta

Apple has released a public beta version of Safari 4, its next web browser. The software introduces a number of new features, most notably the Nitro engine, which is claimed to run JavaScript functions 4.2 times faster Safari 3. The browser additionally incorporates HTML 5 support, which allows offline storage of web application data, and CSS 3 styles, which can incorporate gradients, reflections and precision masks.

Safari's interface has been altered with several new features, such as the Opera-like Top Sites, which displays a visual collection of a user's favorite webpages for rapid selection. Users can now search through the complete text of sites in their browsing history, and view both histories and current bookmarks through the visual medium of Cover Flow.

The software also adopts a new layout scheme called Tabs on Top, which provides more page space by pushing tabs into the title bar, as in Google's Chrome browser. Miscellaneous updates to Safari include an expanded set of debugging tools, smart suggestions in the search and address fields, and automatic detection of phishing or malware sites.

Safari 4 is available in separate versions for Mac OS X 10.4, 10.5, and Windows XP or Vista.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Marook

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Those Tabs in the menubar

    Ok, those tabs in the manu bar Really breaks the GUI and is SO strange to look at!

    It's also more difficult to see where you are, as the tabs is longer away now from your field of view.. Very Strange decision there...

  1. edjstevens

    Joined: Dec 1969


    slower & deletes Safari 3

    first off it installs the 4.0 beta in Apps folder and deletes safari 3.2. it did not move Safari 3.0 to the trash so getting it back will be a pain.

    4.0 Beta was really slow first time, it was unresponsive and it quit on me.

    2nd time was better, but not ready for prime time yet.

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969


    First look

    Here is a first look video for safari 4

  1. kdogg73

    Joined: Dec 1969



    If you are like me and have avoided 10.5.6 because of network issues, then you can't install this.

  1. chucker

    Joined: Dec 1969


    title bar

    An "improvement" in an area that didn't need any changes. Don't touch the titlebar, Apple.

    have you ever looked at a Safari window on an old mac (with small screen) or dare I say it - a netbook.

    In that case, ever bit of screen estate that you can save is well worth it, not that I'm starting any rumours here...

  1. chucker

    Joined: Dec 1969



    So it seems Apple is starting to get good at copying good ideas,

    drop down auto-completions - like firefox

    drop down live searches (no more need for inquisitor)

    cover flow viewing of multiple web pages (bye bye Shiira)...

  1. jsmecham

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Disable "Tabs on Top"

    If you want to disable "Tabs on Top" I found a hidden preference you can set from Terminal:

  1. Zkatz007

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Copied, etc.

    Chucker, you missed one – tabs on top is a Google Chrome first. I think it makes tabs much more representative of how they work in the real world, AND it saves tons of screen real estate.

    Best of all, though, is the way they've (rather, WebKit) improved the developer tools including Inspect Element pane and CSS control.

    Bravo, Apple. It's a great update.

  1. Geobunny

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Disable tabs on top

    Well done that man! Tabs on top look absolutely awful and break my usability habit of double-clicking the tab bar to add a new tab - the wee plus in the corner is too far away and my mouse is rarely, if ever, in that top right corner of the screen.

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969


    It's a beta...

    DUH, That's why it called a beta.

    If you don't like something then report it.

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