Safari 4: Whats New?

Safari 4. Apple has really been working on this one. New features and faster browsing, all in the beautiful package of
Safari. I’m going to give you the full description of all the new features.

Top sites- With a single click you now can view all of your top sites in this wonderful panoramic view: like a coverflow with several tiers of pages. A really nice way to view your top sites. Now this is a feature i really like: when you view your favorites, it there is a site that has updated, there is a little fold in the top right cor ner of the page, revealing a blue triangle with a little asterisk. that way you can tell if a blog you follow has a new post or if the New York Times has changed, thank you apple.

Coverflow- “Everybody loves coverflooww, la laaa la”, *cough* sorry. Any ways… coverflow is very useful if you want an organized way to see your sites, or just love scrolling through things, you can now browse through your search history, the tabs you have open (and if your like me, and have 50 tabs open in one window, this is a very welcome thing), and also you can view your bookmarks this way.w

Full history search- You can now fully search your browsing history in wonderful coverflow. Its nice when you can view a thumbnail of the site your looking for, and it organizes the view into something that you can really understand.u

Nitro engine- No, Safari is not a becoming a racing game, Apple is just upgrading to a Nitro engine system for very fast browsing, Java, and web 2.0 apps. This puts it as #1 in speed, according to tests by iBuench and sunspideru

These are the stats given by the SunSpider tests for Javascript loading time. As you can see Safari 4.0 is in the lead with 609.07 milliseconds, a big improvement from even the Firefox Beta 3.5.

Safari 4.0 – 609.07 ms
Chrome 2.0 870.00 ms
Firefox 3.5 Beta 1102.33 ms
Firefox 3.0 – 2728.60 ms
Opera 9.6 3815.53 ms
Internet Explorer 8 4734.80 ms

But Safari 4 is also #1 for HTML loading time as measured by i-bench.These numbers show HTML time.
Safari 4.01.01 s
Chrome 2.0 – 1.41 s
Firefox 3.5 Beta – 4 3.10 s
Firefox 3.03.21 s
Opera 9.6 – 3.26 s
Internet Explorer 8 – 3.60 s

Windows look and feel- Now if your running Safari 4 on Windows Vista or Windows Xp, and unless you choose otherwise, Safari will appear to be a native application, with the windows bar, fonts and everything. I am actually surprised Apple would do this, since it generally tries to conserve its individuality and style.

Developer tools- If you are a developer, or just like looking at code and fooling around, this is big news for you. Now,if you select developer in the options, you can view the codes of a page you are looking for, or you can try out random apps that you have created on the fly. A whole set of really nice tools and a beutifuly designed UI await you.

Now the question is, is there anything about this that I don’t like, and the answer is yes. No matter how fast Safari 4 loads JavaScript and HTML, it’s startup is still frustratingly slow. I normally use Firefox, and it starts up pretty fast after I click that icon. Now with Safari I have to sit there, waiting for it to start up. Still, those speed numbers really are convincing, and I think I might switch to Safari for that extra speed and that coverflow, and Apple styling.

All in all this is a pretty big update, and I’ve gone over the more notable features here. I think in new features this gets a solid 9 out of 10, and an 8.5 for awesomeness…and I’m not even trying to see what the average of those are.

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