Safari 4 Beta Is Out And Awesome

 In Technology

Okay – good news for those of you who enjoy surfing the interweb.
There’s so much crud out there (and indeed on this very site) and so many sites to follow and organise and look at… well, in its latest version (the BETA release of Safari 4) Apple has delivered its best browser yet to help enrich your web surfing, and to be honest it pisses on pretty much any other browser I’ve seen too. (yes, that’s basically all of them).
Whilst they’d done a couple of things I’m not so keen on – like shifting the tabs to the very top of the navbar, and changing their behaviour a bit – some of the plusses are utterly brilliant.

People will make certain comparisons to Google’s Chrome browser with regard to the most obvious new feature; the “Top Sites” screen – but that won’t do it justice. Although its starting point is a collection of your most viewed sites (albeit presented in beautiful 3D Aqua-fied glory) the cleverness comes in being able to completely turn this into a beautiful Favourites / Start page by sticking drawing pins into pages you want to keep in a certain place and organising others around them. It also has a nifty little touch of letting you know if pages have been updated by showing them with the top corner folded down and a star showing up.

There’s a whole interface lifting going on with “Cover Flow” (Apple’s gorgeous way of shoing items by flipping through them, derived from iTunes where the metaphor was flicking through a bunch of album sleeves) being used across so many functions such as searching your History for previously visited sites, bookmarks in general, and also special bookmarks such as a folder of sites associated with people from your address book.

The final thing to recommend it is its speed. This is fast. Really fast. Overall rendering is great and the performance on pages heavy with things like Javascript is nothing short of blistering.
Combine it with Safari Ad Block and you have very probably got the most exquisite browsing experience available.
There’s a Windows version too, so give it a try (though given that it will be authored to exploit the structure and processes of Apple’s OSX operating system, it’s unlikely you’d feel quite the same boost. But it’s still a fab browser and deserves a tryout.)

There’s a page covering all the features here
And you can download the Safari 4 Beta here…
*Just bear in mind it IS a beta version. It won’t be perfect.

…Although it’s pretty bloody close.

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