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Apple announced and released the Safari 4 Beta this morning for all the world to download and try out. The latest Safari incarnation promises to be faster and easier to use than Safari 3.
I tried out the new browser this morning in between cans of Red Bull and the recording of our Tuesday Mac|Live Podcast. Here is what I learned:
- It's fast. Not just, "Oh hey, we tweaked some code fast." More like they pulled the old Ford Pinto engine out and replaced it with a super-charged BMW M3 engine with 110 octane fuel sloshing around inside. Without even doing a side-by-side comparison of Safari 3, the Safari 4 Beta screams out of the gate. It's faster than Firefox and Safari 3. Noticeably faster.
- Cover Flow. I'll admit it. I've never been a fan of Cover Flow. I don't use it in iTunes, the Finder or on any iPhones or iPods. Yet, in Safari when surfing through your history, I find actually useful.
- Top Sites. Great that it's dynamic if you want it to be. You can pin down selected sites and remove sites from your Top Sites page. It seems helpful and fun, but a true test will be if I continue to use it after two weeks. The star that appears when one of your Top Sites updates its contents. Nice!
- Tabs on Top. This is disorientating. After years of having tabs on the bottom with Firefox and Safari, they're suddenly on top.
On the whole, the newest Safari is slick and speedy. If you're not concerned about losing Safari 3, and you want to try out the latest browser technology, go ahead, enjoy the beta goodness of Safari 4.
Just remember, it's a beta.
Check out the 150 features in Safari 4.