Apple releases Safari 4 as "world's fastest browser"

Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014
Apple on Monday released a finalized version of Safari 4, which the company is billing as the "world's fastest and most innovative web browser."



Available for Mac and Windows PCs and introduced as a beta in February of this year, Safari 4 features the Nitro engine which runs JavaScript up to 4.5 times faster than its predecessor.



"The successful beta release helped us fine tune Safari 4 into an even better, faster version that customers are going to love," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. "Safari is enjoyed by 70 million users worldwide and with its blazing fast speed, innovative features and support for modern web standards, it's the best browser on any platform."



Safari 4 is built on some of the most advanced browser technologies including the new Nitro JavaScript engine that executes JavaScript nearly eight times faster than IE 8 and more than four times faster than Firefox 3, according to Apple's tests. The company also claims that Safari quickly loads HTML web pages more than three times faster than IE 8 and three times faster than Firefox 3.



Starting with the development of the open source WebKit browser engine, Apple has been an industry leader in defining and implementing innovative web standards. Safari 4 includes HTML 5 support for offline technologies and support for advanced CSS Effects, enabling an entirely new class of web applications that feature rich media, graphics and fonts.



Safari 4 is also the first browser to pass the Web Standards Project's Acid3 test, which examines how well a browser adheres to CSS, JavaScript, XML and SVG standards that are specifically designed for dynamic web applications.







Other new features in Safari 4 include:



-- Top Sites, offering a visual preview of frequently visited and favorite pages

-- Full History Search, to search through titles, web addresses and the complete text of recently viewed pages

-- Cover Flow, to easily flip through web history or bookmarks.

-- Smart Address Fields for automatically completing web addresses from an easy to read list of suggestions

-- Search Fields, to fine tune searches with recommendations from Google Suggest or a list of recent searches

-- Full Page Zoom, for a closer look at any website without degrading the quality of the site's layout and text.



In Mac OS X Snow Leopard, available later this year, Safari runs as a 64-bit application, boosting the performance of the Nitro JavaScript engine by up to 50 percent. Apple says Snow Leopard makes Safari more resistant to crashes by running plug-ins in a separate process, so even if a plug-in crashes, Safari continues to run and the user simply has to reload the affected page.







Pricing & Availability



Safari 4 is available for both Mac OS X and Windows as a free download.



Safari 4 for Mac OS X requires Mac OS X Leopard v10.5.7 or Mac OS X Tiger v10.4.11 and Security Update 2009-002, a minimum 256MB of memory and is designed to run on any Intel-based Mac or a Mac with a PowerPC G5, G4 or G3 processor and built-in FireWire. Safari 4 for Windows requires Windows XP SP2 or Windows Vista, a minimum 256MB of memory and a system with at least a 500 MHz Intel Pentium processor.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 68
    quantzquantz Posts: 94member
    "and more than four times faster than Firefox 3, according to Apple's tests."



    I love Apple but this is pure fantasy.

    I use and test Fox and Safari on the same websites,

    and Fox is consistently faster.

    Besides, Safari 4-th of its name and still no sorting of the favorites ?

    I have 890 of them and there's no way I would use Safari without that functionality.



    Come on?
  • Reply 2 of 68
    - j b 7 2 -- j b 7 2 - Posts: 201member
    What happned to the tabs on top? I was just getting into that.
  • Reply 3 of 68
    unotherunother Posts: 40member
    Thankfully they fixed the most egregious UI errors from the Beta... the title/tab bar is now only the title bar again; and the load/stop button becomes a highly visible nub instead of being nearly invisible.
  • Reply 4 of 68
    jcbigearsjcbigears Posts: 43member
    On the Safari website it still talks about Safari 4 beta. Is this what was released today, or are we still waiting for the website to be updated?
  • Reply 5 of 68
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quantz View Post


    "and more than four times faster than Firefox 3, according to Apple's tests."



    I love Apple but this is pure fantasy.

    I use and test Fox and Safari on the same websites,

    and Fox is consistently faster.

    Besides, Safari 4-th of its name and still no sorting of the favorites ?

    I have 890 of them and there's no way I would use Safari without that functionality.



    Come on?



    They aren?t lying, but they are marketing. The tests that are 4x are measuring certain things, like JS. And they are surely not using the latest FF betas for a comparison.



    I just hope that this release isn?t buggy. With other browsers catching up to them in Acid3 it is best for them to release their browser as first publically released, no beta browser that scores a perfect on Acid3 (note that a 100/100 is a necessarily a passing score).
  • Reply 6 of 68
    probablyprobably Posts: 139member
    Here's the new layout.



  • Reply 7 of 68
    shubiduashubidua Posts: 157member
    Maybe they were also testing on snow leopard, who knows ?
  • Reply 8 of 68
    nano_tubenano_tube Posts: 114member
    I am sooooo relieved with the fact that they fixed this horrible horrible top tab thing...

    It was so annoying and SO ugly.



    I actually sounded a sigh of relief after the restart when I ran Safari 4!



    LOL







    EDIT: And (drums please), they have finally added a "New Tab" button in the customize toolbar. Thats funny as there is already the '+' button on the tab bar, but I guess later is better than never...



    IMHO, Safari is now perfect.
  • Reply 9 of 68
    eckingecking Posts: 1,588member
    I want my tabs back on top! That gave more browsing space, damn apple that was the thing about the beta I liked the most!
  • Reply 10 of 68
    eckingecking Posts: 1,588member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by probably View Post


    Here's the new layout.



    I haven't updated from the beta yet, I might not for a few days. The product page talks about a zoom button, next to the back/forward buttons, where is it?
  • Reply 11 of 68
    jahvelinjahvelin Posts: 1member
    i liked them and miss them... they should give us a choice...
  • Reply 12 of 68
    jpellinojpellino Posts: 672member
    It's a hung jury on them - at least *allow* them. I initially despised them, but after this long I understand their worth and love them, but realize not all do.
  • Reply 13 of 68
    arlomediaarlomedia Posts: 271member
    Can anyone tell me if it's possible to switch between Safari 3 and Safari 4 on my computer? When I install a new iLife application, I usually rename the old one to keep it around for a while, and then the new version won't overwrite it. If I rename my current Safari application to "Safari 3" will it still run after installing Safari 4?



    I'm a web developer and I want to keep the option of testing in the "old" version if possible.
  • Reply 14 of 68
    archer75archer75 Posts: 204member
    In real world tests Safari 4 is consistently slower than firefox. Trades blows with IE8. Chrome easily takes the lead.



    But I have a question, how do you access the activity windows in Safari 4?
  • Reply 15 of 68
    zandroszandros Posts: 537member
    Sweet mother of Jesus, Apple actually listened!



    Awesome.
  • Reply 16 of 68
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quantz View Post


    Besides, Safari 4-th of its name and still no sorting of the favorites ?

    I have 890 of them and there's no way I would use Safari without that functionality.

    Come on?



    Quantz, what do you mean, you can't sort Bookmarks (favorites)?



    Go to the Bookmarks Menu and choose "Show All Bookmarks".



    There you can make folders and nest and rename to your hearts content!



    (forgive me if you're on a PC and it doesn't work the same way over there, but I'm pretty sure it should.)



    Good luck!
  • Reply 17 of 68
    jimzipjimzip Posts: 446member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Zandros View Post


    Sweet mother of Jesus, Apple actually listened!



    Awesome.



    Haha. Seems that was the theme of today's keynote.



    I too was just getting into the tab-on-top jazz. Weird that they'd backtrack and not even offer it as an option now.



    Also ecking Safari retains your old prefs, so the zoom buttons are hidden in 'Customize Toolbar' when you right-click near the back/forward buttons (if you didn't already have them out there before the update).



    Jimzip
  • Reply 18 of 68
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,740member
    Does anyone know the status of FlashBlock and AdBlock Plus functionality for Safari 4? I'm a FF3 user but the new Safari release is rockin'. Just add those to plug-ins (or however that has to be implemented in Safari) and I'm officially a convert!
  • Reply 19 of 68
    ivan.rnn01ivan.rnn01 Posts: 1,822member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by archer75 View Post


    But I have a question, how do you access the activity windows in Safari 4?



    Window/Activity [ ⌥-⌘-A, Alt-Cmd-A ], Bro...



    And who only could help me to get my tabs back on top?
  • Reply 20 of 68
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    With one button? If not- who cares?
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