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Safari 4 Intros Nitro JavaScript Engine, Adds Dev Tools

Apple has released a public beta of Safari 4, introducing several new end-user features, along with built-in developer tools and a new JavaScript engine called Nitro.

The new Nitro JavaScript engine is more than four times faster than the JavaScript engine in Safari 3 and, according to Apple, can execute JavaScript "up to 30 times faster than IE 7 and more than three times faster than Firefox 3." The new browser also includes built-in developer tools for debugging and optimization.

For end users, Safari 4 adds history searches, allowing users to search titles, URLs and the text of pages visited. It also includes Top Sites, which provides easy access to frequently visited pages, and Cover Flow, which is used for navigating history and bookmarks, such as navigating songs in iTunes.

Other features include:

  • Smart addresses, which store browsing history, bookmarks and Top Sites to help complete addresses;
  • A "Smart Search" field for fine-tuning Google search results;
  • Full-page zoom; and
  • For Windows users, a Windows-native look and feel.

Safari 4 beta is available now for Mac OS X and Windows. On Mac systems, it requires either Mac OS X 10.5.6 or 10.4.11. Further information and a link to the download can be found here.

About the Author

Dave Nagel is the executive editor for 1105 Media's educational technology online publications and electronic newsletters. He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com.

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