Apple has just released a beta of their Safari web browser for the Mac and for the PC. Judging by previous “beta” releases from Apple, the quality should be very high and the browser should be very useable now.
Amongst the raft of cool and new features on Safari 4 are:
Full-Page Zoom – Zoom in or out on web content using keyboard shortcuts, Multi-Touch gestures, or the Zoom toolbar button for more comfortable reading. Images and graphics scale up while your text remains razor sharp, keeping the web page layout consistent as you zoom. To add the Zoom button to your toolbar, simply choose Customize toolbar from the View menu and drag the button onto your toolbar.
Speculative Loading – Safari loads the documents, scripts, and style information required to view a web page ahead of time, so they’re ready when you need them.
Cover Flow for Bookmarks – Using Cover Flow, you can flip through websites as easily as you flip through album art in iTunes. Cover Flow displays your bookmarks and history as large graphical previews, so you can pick out a website instantly.
Smart Address Field – Enter web addresses quickly and easily. As you begin to type an address in the address field, Safari automatically completes it with the most likely match — called the Top Hit — and highlights it. Simply press the Enter key to connect to the site. If the Top Hit is not the site you intended to visit, check the list of relevant suggestions, drawn from your bookmarks and browsing history, that Safari displays. Click to select the site you want to visit.
CSS Effects – Pioneered by Safari, CSS effects help developers add polish to websites by stylizing images and photos with eye-catching gradients, precise masks, and stunning reflections that require only a few lines of code.
Acid 3 Compliance
HTML 5 Offline Support – Web developers can now create applications that you can use even when you don’t have access to the Internet. Thanks to HTML 5 offline support, designers can build web applications that store themselves on your computer, where you have immediate access to them. Along with the application, web developers can also choose to store the application’s data on your system, so you always have the information you need. Applications and data can be stored in a traditional SQL-like database serving as an application cache or as a “super cookie,” which stores data in the familiar cookie format.