Safari browser 4 unveiled in WWDC: Features List and First Look

By Partho, Gaea News Network
Tuesday, June 9, 2009

apple-safari-logoAmid all other big announcement WWDC, Apple launched the public version of Safari 4.With the new improvements Safari is now a serious browser for Windows and its Mac version has also improved. The version 4.0 of Safari made its debut as beta back in February, and has added several enhancements that could lead the browser to a competing position in browser market.The Safari 3 users might find themselves in a different world with the completely new interface of the Safari 4 browser. The new Safari Web browser as a free download for Windows and Macintosh computers. To know more let’s delve into the features of Apple’s latest browser.

Amazing Interface

Acid Tests done on Safari 4

Shortcomings of Safari 4

Amazing Interface

The latest Safari browser comes with a look and feel that imitates other such the Webkit-based browser, Google Chrome. Safari offers wondrous graphics with an improved interface. On launching the browser you would see all the menu bar, tab bar and status bar all hidden. What you see is the  location bar, bookmark bar, and the slick Top Sites interface. The Top Sites feature is essentially a clone of the Opera Speed Dial that  most commonly visited Web sites on a Cover Flow-style skin. With a black background, curvature and reflective window bottom, its probably the most professionally-inclined Web browser you find around. The indication that the site has been updated is provided by a blue star and an upturned page.


Another new change in the public release is that the browser crashes that crop up by plug-ins like Flash have been sand-boxed by the developers. In case, the Flash or Shockwave crashes only the particular plug-in will be affected and the page on which it is running continues to function. Further you can reactivate the plug-in when reloading the page. Safari 4 adds Full Page Zoom for a closer look at any Web site.

Acid Tests done on Safari 4

According to Apple Safari 4 is the fastest browser in the market. Apple seems to be right with its count. On an Intel Core Duo T400 THinkPad, the Webkit SunSpider JavaScript test and Mozilla Dromaeo test on Firefox 3.5 Preview, Google Chrome 2 and Safari 4. Safari topped both the tests.

Well, these tests might be affected through background computer processes, hardware and other factors. Given these factors the Safari 4 is obviously the fastest browser out there.

Apple Safari 4 features a Nitro engine that runs JavaScript up to 4.5 times faster than Safari 3. Apple claims that its browser runs  JavaScript nearly eight times faster than Internet Explorer 8 and more than four times faster than Firefox 3.

Safari 4 is the first non-beta browser that completed the Acid3 Web standards compliance test.


Shortcomings of Safari 4

URL bar

The browser doesn’t features smart surfing on the URL bar, it only includes your history and bookmarks somewhat like Internet Explorer. Currently, only Chrome and Firefox features Google’s feeling lucky style of searching from the location bar. The browser still lacks extensions that gives a reason for most Firefox users to reject it.

RAM Hungry

The browser remains RAM-hungry. Amazingly, with two tabs open one to Dromaeo and one to SunSpider it is using a shocking amount of RAM –more than 500MB after running both the sites tests.


The browser is anticipated to improve in performance with the release of Mac OS X Snow Leopard, arriving in September. However, what seems evident is that with IE holding 60% market share, Firefox 30% and Safari down at 4% there are little hopes for a miracle.

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