Introducing Safari 4 Beta

Apple has released the Beta of Safari 4 for both Mac and Windows. You can download it today from the Apple site (Click on the graphic above).

Safari 4 web browsers demonstrating Top Sites and history search features
Features include:

  • Top sites
  • Cover Flow
  • Full History search
  • Tabs on Top
  • Nitro Engine
  • Windows native look and feel
  • Developer Tools
Top Sites:

Safari 4 web browser demonstrating Top Sites feature

Thanks to Top Sites, you can enjoy a stunning, at-a-glance preview of your favorite websites without lifting a finger. Safari 4 Beta tracks the sites you browse and ranks your favorites, presenting up to 24 thumbnails on a single page. You can even customize the display by pinning a favorite site to a specific location in the grid. That locks it into position, so you know just where to find it every time you open Top Sites.

Wonder which sites have changed since your last visit? Sites with a star in the upper-right corner have new content. A single click opens the page and updates its thumbnail. Whenever you want to return to your ever-evolving Top Sites page, just click the new Top Sites button in the bookmarks bar.

Cover Flow

New to Safari, Cover Flow offers a highly visual way of reviewing your site history and bookmarked sites, presenting full-page previews of the websites that look exactly as they did when you last visited them.

One look is all you need to recognize the site you want to visit. Simply flip through website previews in Cover Flow the same way you flip through album art in iTunes. Directional arrows let you browse forward and back. Or you can quickly flip through multiple sites using the slider. And when you find the site you want, simply click to open it.

Safari 4 web browser demonstrating full history search with coverflow visuals

Full History Search

With Full History Search and Cover Flow, what you see is where you went. Safari introduces a dramatic new way to revisit sites, letting you flip through full-page previews of the sites you visited in the past. You may not have total recall, but Safari does, automatically storing all the text and a thumbnail of every page in your history. That makes it easy for Safari to get results even if you remember little about the site you’re searching for.

Just type a word or phrase in the History Search field in Top Sites, and Safari quickly presents you with a list of possibilities. In fact, you can search for anything that was on a page you visited, even photo captions. To jog your memory, Safari presents the sites it finds in Cover Flow, giving you the opportunity to spot the right site on sight.

Safari 4 web browser with tabs in the menubar for tabbed browsing

Tabs on Top

Tabs offer a great way to have multiple pages open at the same time in a single browser window. And to switch back and forth with a click. Now Safari takes tabbed browsing to new heights — to the very top of the browser window — instantly providing more room for you to enjoy the sites you’re reading.

Safari also makes it easy to create and manage tabs. To create a new tab, just click the + button in the upper-right corner of the Safari window. Want to rearrange tabs? Simply drag a tab by its handle and drop it in a new location in the tab bar. You can also use the handle to drop a tab into another Safari window. Or quickly create a new window by dragging the tab out to the desktop. You can create a bookmark from a group of tabs. Or even tell Safari to open a set of tabs every time you open a new Safari window.

Nitro Engine

Still the world’s fastest web browser, Safari outraces Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Chrome. On even the most demanding Web 2.0 applications, Safari delivers blazingly fast performance thanks to the industry’s most advanced rendering technologies.

Using the new Nitro Engine, for example, Safari executes JavaScript up to 30 times faster than Internet Explorer 7 and more than 3 times faster than Firefox 3 based on performance in leading industry benchmark tests: iBench and SunSpider.

In addition to superior JavaScript performance, Safari offers top-flight HTML performance — the best on any platform — loading pages 3 times faster than Internet Explorer 7 and almost 3 times faster than Firefox 3.

Bar graph icon for performance data

Blazing performance

How does Safari performance compare to other browsers on the Mac and Windows?

View the performance charts

Safari 4 web browser for Windows Vista with native browser chrome demonstrating top sites feature

Windows Native Look and Feel

If you’re using Safari on a PC with Windows Vista or Windows XP, you’ll feel right at home. That’s because Safari features a native look — just like other Windows applications — including a native title bar, borders, and toolbars. To provide a consistent Windows experience, Safari now uses Windows standard fonts, but you can choose to use Apple’s crisp anti-aliased fonts if you prefer. Of course, Safari in Windows delivers the same lightning-fast performance provided by the Mac version.

Safari in Windows features a native look, complete with a native title bar, borders, and toolbars. Thanks to its native look, Safari fits right in with other Windows Vista applications. If you’re using Windows XP, you’ll feel right at home when browsing the web with Safari for Windows.

  • Cover Flow view of Safari on Windows
  • Top Sites feature of Safari on Windows Vista
  • Top Sites feature of Safari on Windows XP

Safari 4 developer tools window

Developer Tools

In Safari, developers will find the best set of development tools ever included in a browser. Just turn them on in Safari preferences and use them to examine the structure of a page, debug JavaScript, optimize performance and compatibility, inspect offline databases, or test experimental pieces of code on the fly. For more specific information about each of the development tools, visit the Safari Dev Center page.

Your command center, the Web Inspector offers access to all the developer tools. Use the Elements Pane to take a close look at web pages under development. You can graph the order and speed at which website components load using the Resources Pane.

  • Close up of Developer tools
  • Close up of Developer tools
  • Close up of Developer tools

More Safari 4 Features

Image highlighting new page zoom buttons on Safari

Full-Page Zoom

Get a close look at even the finest print using Full-Page Zoom. Safari scales images and graphics as you zoom in and keeps text razor sharp while preserving the page layout perfectly.

Close up of Safari smart field drop down

Smart Address Field

Just start typing, and the Smart Address Field instantly offers suggestions. You’ll see the Top Hit and the best matches from your browsing history and bookmark collections, each in their own easy-to-read section.

Close up of Safari smart search field

Smart Search Field

Safari offers excellent search suggestions courtesy of Google Suggest and your recent search history, making it even easier to conduct productive searches. You can even search for text on the page you’re viewing.

Close up of Safari Phishing/Malware warning

Phishing and Malware Protection

Land on a suspicious website, and you’ll know right away. Safari automatically alerts you and won’t open the page. EV Certificate support lets you easily spot legitimate sites.

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