Apple Releases Public Beta of Safari 4

Apple on Tuesday released a public beta of Safari 4, the next generation of its Internet Web browser.

Apple touts the Nitro engine at the heart of Safari as running JavaScript over 4 times as fast as Safari 3, up to 30 times faster than Internet Explorer 7 and three times faster than Firefox. Nitro also allows Safari 4 to load HTML pages three times faster than IE 7, according to Apple.

Other new features in Safari 4 include Top Sites, giving users a visual preview of frequently visited 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; and Tabs on Top, to make tabbed browsing easier.

Safari 4 includes HTML 5 support for offline technologies so web-based applications can store information locally without an Internet connection. The browser also supports advanced CSS effects.

Safari 4 public beta is free and available now for download from Apple's Web site.

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