MacMost Now 208: Safari 4 Public Beta

Take a look at some of the new features in Safari 4, including Top Sites, cover flow for your history, and smart search.

Video Transcript
Hi, this is Gary with MacMost Now. On today's episode let's take a look at the new Safari 4 Public Beta.
So yesterday Apple released Safari 4 Public Beta. This is a preview release so we can take a look at Safari and help test it out for them, and it will be released later this year. Now, I don't recommend that you download it simply because there are already a lot of recorded problems particularly having to do with using Mail after Safari 4 has been installed. But I've gone ahead and installed it myself so I can show you.
Now, the biggest new feature by far in Safari 4 is the speed of Javascript. Javascript is a programming language that's used on most webpages. You may not even realize it's there, but a lot of webpages have Javascript running underneath to produce a lot of the cool Web 2.0 features you're used to. So, Web 2.0 sites, which is just about everything now, will run a lot faster on Safari, and my tests show that this is true, so that's probably the biggest plus.
In addition, there's a slightly new look you'll see in the screenshots in a minute, how the tabs actually appear at the very top of the window, not underneath the toolbars. And there're some other specific features. Let's take a look. at those.
Now the biggest new feature by far is the top sites feature. Now as soon as you come into Safari, it's basically this 3D view showing you graphics of all of your favorite sites. It tries to figure out what your favorite sites are by seeing which ones you've visited. But you can also enter this Editor mode, which allows you to go ahead and specify what you really want to be there, and move them around. You can do a lot of different things in the Editor mode, let's take a look here. You can go ahead and put a little pinpoint there where you want something to stay, so now MacMost will always appear. You can get rid of something that you don't feel should be there. And you can also drag and drop things around in it. There're also a few different size views for the top sites feature, small, enlarged, and medium.
Now that's not all for the 3D effects. You've also got 3D Cover Flow in the history view. Now history view includes bookmarks. So if you look through your recent sites, right there, you still get a list view underneath, but you get to get this visual view as well. You can also go and look in Bookmarks, I don't have any here, but you can go ahead and look at the bookmarks bar, which there are quite a few different things. So it's a neat different way to look through your history and bookmarks.
There's also a search field that will then narrow down what it is you're looking for through your history. So you can just type something in there it will basically order things in something to do with the search terms. So I've searched for Mac and MacMost comes up first.
Here's a feature that Firefox users are used to. When you start typing in the search field, you get suggestions from Google about what you're typing for. So for instance, type me.com personal and it immediately thinks oh, personal domain, personal domain email. Gives you those options. It's kind of nice and makes it easy to find things.
So if you really want to try out the Public Beta of Safari 4 all you need to do is go to apple.com/safari and you can download it from there. It also comes with an uninstaller so if you do experience problems with Mail or some other application you can uninstall it. That worked fine for me. I'd love to hear what you think about Safari 4. You can send me a tweet. My twitter address is rosenz. Till next time, this is Gary Rosenzweig with MacMost Now.

Comments: 6 Responses to “MacMost Now 208: Safari 4 Public Beta”

    Charlotte
    2/25/09 @ 6:42 pm

    HI.
    Well, took a chance and downloaded Safari 4 beta and found it to be pretty spectacular. Yes, it is somewhat faster than Safari 3 and the top hits pane and the cover flow-like feature of the bookmarks window, including the search button really speeds up the ability to find one’s bookmarked websites. So with this version, getting around the web is even more streamlined and efficient.
    I like the even cleaner look of Safari 4’s interface, leaving more room for website content. Very nice.
    I use 1Password and by mid-afternoon on the day Safari 4 beta was released, Agile Web Solutions had a fix and then later in the day, an update that enabled seamless use of 1Password with Safari 4 beta. Brilliant!
    Growl works fine and I found the Speed Download app to work flawlessly as well with Safari 4 beta.
    Highlighted this post and clipped it to one of my Notebook 3 notebooks and that, too, works fine.
    Haven’t come across any problems so far on either the PowerPc Mac Mini or the Intel Mac Mini.
    I think Safari 4 beta is a fantastic browser. Thanks so much!

    Carole
    2/26/09 @ 1:00 pm

    I installed Safari 4 Beta and now I can’t access Hotmail. I can get into Hotmail but can’t open any messages. phooey!

    Stojan Georgiev
    2/27/09 @ 3:26 am

    The thig after i’v installed Safari 4 beta,is that when i have my MSN Messenger open,and im writing something to someone after pressing Enter to send the text,the window get inactive,and to continue writhing i have to click it again.At first i didn’t figure it out but after my friend install Safari 4 Beta,the same thing hapend to him also so that’s how i know its from the new Safari !!

    3/1/09 @ 3:40 pm

    I think that Safari 4 is really cool. The tabs on the top of the window is really cool. The Top Sites feature is a really sleek way to navigate around the web. Same with the Cover Flow bookmarks. Now only if they put cover flow history/bookmarks on the iPod touch. Not many major problems so far except on my PC it doesn’t have the top sites feature because my graphics card is too low. I hate that PC anyway… So far I think Safari’s OK. I usually like Camino, but now I am going back to Safari.

    3/1/09 @ 4:23 pm

    I found a glitch in Safari 4. If you go to History > Mark page as snapback, it’s not there. I’m downgrading to Safari 3. I just downloaded it today. I use that feature ALOT!!!!

    Dave
    5/14/09 @ 8:34 am

    I keep getting indication I need to upgrade to the beta upgrade.
    Been there, done that.
    I like the speed.
    I did have to run Disk Utility from the DVD last night. Mac seemed to be in permanent sleep mode after attempting a hard start up. Probably not related.?
    Also was having in previous Safari and am having (Beta 4) to use option click to download.?

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