27 February 2009

A Faster Web Browser - Safari 4 Beta

This month is full of launches and there is one more pleasant release: now Internet resources have become available much faster than earlier with the new Safari 4 Beta from Apple. Its launch was announced on Tuesday, but this web browser has gained controversial opinions. I want to share with you my own experience. It should be mentioned that Safari 4 downloads sites much faster than its predecessor Safari 3. As the manufacturers claim, it is due to the new Nitro Engine. While it shares some features with other web browsers, Safari 4 has some outstanding characteristics that I liked mostly.

Firstly, Top Sites, additional option of the browser, allows seeing the most frequently visited sites and, moreover, presents up to 24 of them just on one page. The most interesting feature of the Safari 4 is that you can easily find out which sites have changed since your last visit. If there is a star on the upper corner, it means there have been made modifications. The shortcoming of the Top Sites is that it is designed for mouse and you will not be able to use your keyboard to open a site page.

Another feature I liked, is Cover Flow, which enables revisiting and presenting sites as they looked when you viewed them for the last time. A related option, Full History Search allows finding any visited website by just typing a few words from the page looked for. I tried it and received the desirable result.

In general, Safari 4 Beta is not much distinguished from other web browsers. Of course, it has features that are not characteristic to Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome, but one of my friends, who uses Safari 4 Beta, has been unsatisfied with its Chrome-like design and he does not like that the tabs are on the top. However, it is not a problem with everyone if you remember that you can create new tabs by clicking the + button in the upper-right corner of the Safari window and manage tabs by dragging them to the new place.

I am satisfied with the work of Safari 4 Beta, even despite its several shortcomings. I use it on Windows XP and Safari has a familiar look featuring accustomed title bar, borders, and toolbars.

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