Safari 4 Beta

As nearly every Mac user in the world will know Apple released Safari 4 Beta.

The first thing you notice when you launch Safari 4 Beta is the Top Sites page, this page shows you a grid of thumbnails based on the top sites you have recently visited allowing you to quickly and easily return to that site.


Clicking on the Edit button enables you to remove the site thumbnail, pin it into position and of to delete the site. On this page you can also click to search your history. Clicking on the search history area presents you with the following screen


Here you can clear your history, scan through the pages or enter a search string. When you enter a search string it will show pages from your history that it contains the text you entered. Oh dear, my first CRASH of Safari 4 Beta.


This happened as I was scanning the found results of a search. One other cool feature of Safari 4 Beta is the Bookmark cover flow. Simply clicking on the bookmarks icon in the corner presents you with a cover flow of your bookmarked sites.


Ok, so this just looks like eye candy but it really does improve the way you use the browser – well in my case anyway. Apple state that Safari 4 Beta has 150 features, here are the new ones :

As listed above Top Sites, Cover Flow, Full History Search and then we have

Tabs on Top
This moves the browser tabs to the upper most part of the Safari window. This is a great place to put it as it gives you much more real estate. I do seem to have one issue with this though, from time to time as I try to click between Tabs I seem to drag the window down instead of moving to the selected tab. Probably just me though 😉

Nitro Engine
Apple claim that the new engine executes Javascript 30 times faster than IE 7 and more than 3 times faster than Firefox. Along with 3 x faster loading of html pages than the same two browsers.

Windows Native Look and Feel
I really do not care about this :p

Developer Tools
These tools are designed to allow developers 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. Got to say this sounds cool and something I will look into in more detail.

Full Page Zoom
Safari scales images and graphics as you zoom in and keeps text razor sharp while preserving the page layout perfectly.

Smart Address Field
As you type in the URL you will see the top hit and best matches based on your browsing history and bookmark collections each in their own easy to read section. I have to say this works incredibly well.

Smart Search Field
This utilises Google Suggest and your recent search history. Again this works incredibly well in my limited testing.

My comments
Although I have only been using this version of Safari for a couple of hours it seems to blaze along but from time to time it does have issues. Some scripts are not compatible for example using the add link feature in WordPress causes the top half of the window to grey out when the pop up dialog box appears, however you cannot enter anything nor do anything. Occasional rainbow wheel, and as already mentioned crashing.

Personally, I am loving this update and look forward to the finished article 🙂

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