Apple unleashes Safari 4

Latest version of Apple’s browser promises faster browsing along with trademark visual flair.

Safari 4

Apple has released the first beta of Safari 4 with Apple claiming significant speed boost thanks to the use of its Nitro rendering engine.

The company says that this will render Javascript intensive pages up to 30 times faster than Internet Explorer 7 and more than three times faster than Firefox 3.The company also claims Safari will trounce the opposition when it comes to loading HTML web pages, touting a three times improvement on both Internet Explorer 7 and Firefox 3.Away from Apple's bluster, it certainly feels nippy, but we'll hold fire on proclaiming a winner until we've had a chance to test it properly.The visual embellishments are much more evident. Though we found the new Windows-specific design unpleasantly chunky and bland, the Favourite Site's page and ebsite History have had more positive makeovers.The Favourites Page displays a concave wall of thumbnails showing your frequently visited sites, resplendent with shadows and reflections.Elsewhere, the history section of the browser now has a Cover Flow display, which enables users to flip through their visited web pages as they would the covers of their albums on an iPod. Bizarrely, it turns out to be a far more useful feature within Safari, allowing you to quickly locate a webpage that you can visualise, but can't recall the details of.Safari 4 also supports HTML 5, making it compatible with the next generation of offline web apps being crafted by Google.

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