Safari 4 Public Beta released
Apple released the first public beta of Safari 4, bringing all the work done on WebKit for the first time to end users since Safari 3 came along with Leopard.
But 'just' a new rendering engine isn't everything. Apple committed a lot of time on improving the overall user experience for this release. First of all there is "Top Sites" a feature similar to Google's Chrome where Safari creates a page of thumbnails with your most visited sites. Another new feature is Cover Flow. Yup, the iTunes (and Finder) feature has made its way into Safari, allowing you to see visual representations of your history and bookmarks. In short it can be said that both features look stunning compared with other web browsers.
A feature already found in Chrome, Opera and, more or less, in Firefox is full history search, meaning you don't need to remember a URL precisely, but just keyword of that page. The visual appearance of Safari 4 has also been improved. You'll first notice that the tabs are now positioned at the top of the window, rather than below the location bar. This gives a very Chrome-like feeling, but certainly isn't a bad thing. On the Mac the look has changed as well, everything uses the unified toolbar layout introduced by Leopar, and tabs have more vertical space as well as visual indicators for closing and moving. For Windows users the change is style is even more noticeable as it will now use much more of the native look, rather than an out-of-place look of a Mac application on Windows.
Of course there are many, many more features such as full-page zoom, smart address field (like the Firefox awesomebar, and Chrome's omnibar), smartt search field (auto-complete), phishing and malware protection,.
You can download Safari 4 for Mac (Tiger/Leopard) and Windows (XP/Vista) from Apple's web site. Do note that Mac users will need to restart.