Apple Unveils Safari 4 Public Beta

| News

Apple announced the immediate availability of a public beta of Safari 4 on Tuesday. The new version of the Web browser includes what Apple calls the Nitro JavaScript Engine can run JavaScript 4.2 faster than Safari 3, and the update rolls in a long list of new features that includes Cover Flow browsing for history and bookmarks.

Safari 4 also includes Accessible Rich Interactive Applications, full page zoom support, CSS effects and CSS Canvas support, HTML 5 offline support, offline database support, and smart search recommendations. It sports several features for developers, too such as a new Web Inspector, a page elements view, a JavaScript debugger, a page resources view, and more.

The Safari 4 public beta is available for both Mac and Windows as a free download at the Apple Web site.

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Is it just me or dose this look alot like what chrome for mac is supposed to look like, tabs on top, all of your favorite sites displayed when you open the browser. Still excited tho.

Lee Dronick


Click on the increase text size buttons and the whole page zooms, graphics and all. Go under the View menu and you can select “Zoom text only.”

I will mess with it later, I need to run an errand.


This version seems to leave out the new firewireless Macbooks since they lack firewire.

Macintosh Requirements
Any Mac running Security Update 2009-001 and Mac OS X Leopard 10.5.6 or Mac OS X Tiger 10.4.11
Mac with an Intel processor or a Power PC G5, G4, or G3 processor and built-in FireWire?
256MB of RAM
Top Sites and Cover Flow on Mac OS X Tiger require a Quartz-Extreme compatible video card.


The new position of the Tab Bar is now out of my field of view when I am looking at the web page. I have to shift my view away from the page to look at the tabs which I believe is a human factors error. It is annoying to be constantly shifting up and down.

In addition, the tabs now resize to take up the entire bar no matter how many are open instead of being neatly grouped to the left. With only two tabs open, the viewer can’t take in all the tab titles at a glance but must shift view to two areas to take in the data presented. Another annoyance that didn’t have to be.


Easily the best browser I’ve ever used.  Not only is it fast, the rendering is beautiful.


RE: Fastflyer “This version seems to leave out the new firewireless Macbooks since they lack firewire.”

“G3 processor and built-in FireWire” is the term Apple uses to refer to any G3 machine that have firewire—as in later G3 iMacs and later G3 iBooks. Any machines produced later than those are sufficient to run Safari 4, regardless of whether they have firewire.  G3 machines produced before the introduction of firewire will not meet the requirements (like the original iBook, for instance).


Thanks for setting me straight secret_agent. Appreciate the tip.


This browser is great. It is the first update that has actually made me excited. I love the tabs on top. The tops sites feature I find useful. I don’t use cover flow in any other application, however, it is useful when browsing bookmarks or history. The rendering is fast. The new increase or decrease size including pictures is also a great improvement.

I am not sure I like the removing the blue bar in the address bar. I tried using the terminal to put this feature back. I, however, switched back to the default version because switching back removes the refresh button which I use a lot.

Laurie Fleming

Having used it on both my Macs for several days now, I think it’s just great. And even though it’s only beta, it seems more stable than Safari 3 - I’m no longer getting spindumps.

I’m now used to having the tabs on the top of the screen - I’ve reverted from having changed them to the old way.

Good work, Apple.


I couldn’t stand having tabs on top anymore. I also missed the blue progress bar under the URL and the download cog wheel showing activity in each tab. I also rarely use cover flow even in iTunes so I wanted to get rid of that also.

I hacked the application to get back what I want and get rid of what I don’t want. Very nice now. All the enhanced speed etc. with a human factors interface that works best for me.

Based on my experience, I hope Apple creates preferences which allow the user to select and customize the interface to suit themselves. One shoe does not fit all feet.

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