Apple releases Safari 4

At the World Wide Developer Conference today, Apple announced that they have made their browser, Safari 4, publicly available as a final release. The browser packs some rather handy new features over the old version, so we'll go over them below.

First, Safari 4 is around about 4.5 times faster than the previous iteration; Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, said, "The successful beta release helped us fine tune Safari 4 into an even better, faster version that customers are going to love. 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." The speed boosts come from Safari 4 being built on the Nitro javascript engine, which means it runs javascript code just about eight times faster than IE 8, and nearly four times faster than Firefox 3, according to Apple's tests.

The final version of Safari 4 has a few UI changes; these include (according to AppleInsider):

-- 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.

If you wish to get a hold of Safari 4, please head to Apple's download page to get it as a free download for Mac OS X, or Windows.

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