Overivew: Safari 4 beta

Apple recently launched a public beta version of their web browser, Safari 4. Safari runs both on Mac as well as on Windows computers, and the new beta is available for both platforms.

The new version comes with a number of features such as a cover flow view of your browsing history, a pretty neat way to access your favorite websites, and more. So head over to the Safari download page and get yourself the latest version of the web browser. Note that as this is a beta release you could face some issues. So, this might be only for the brave.

Safari 4 beta requires some packages installed. On my Mac it asked me to install all the latest security updates. The download is of under 32 MB, so it might take some time. Once the download is complete double click on the downloaded file to begin the installation. Hit Continue a few times and you’ll be done with the installation.

After the installation completes you will need to restart your computer for the new version of Safari to work. Launch Safari 4 beta after rebooting your computer. Before you get to business with your new web browser, let me quickly run you through some of the new features that have been introduced in this release.

Top Sites

Top Sites is a completely new feature in Safari. When you launch a new blank tab or open a new blank window Safari gives you a preview of some of your most visited websites. This makes visiting those websites very easy, as all you need to do is to click on the image. This is pretty customizable, so you should definitely check it out.

Cover Flow

Cover Flow is a feature used in a number of other Apple applications such as iTunes. You get to flip through the pages you have surfed using the Cover Flow view just like you flip through album covers in iTunes. Click on an image to open the website.

Full History Search

Safari 4 beta brings a visual way to search through your browsing history. It uses the Cover Flow view to help you browse through your history. It changes the way you do this, from a boring list of sites in a menu to a visual search that makes it a lot easier and definitely a lot more fun to take a look at your browsing records.

These are some of the major features that shipped with Safari 4 beta. There are many other features that I have not mentioned here. Apple has made many changes in Safari with the version 4 beta, some good, some not so good, and some that will take time to adjust to. But form the looks of it the new browser is a step in the right direction.

Note: most of the plugins I had installed on Safari 3 are not yet compatible with the new version, so do keep that in mind while upgrading.

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7 thoughts on “Overivew: Safari 4 beta”

  1. I have Mac OSX, and it just updated for Safari 4, and to my surprise when I opened the bookmarks page, the cover flow was there. I can’t figure out how to make it go away, I do not want it there at all. I see that I can drag it so that it’s just a little bar at the top, but I don’t even want that. The bookmark preferences showed no obvious solution, is there a way to get rid of this without downgrading back to Safari 3?

  2. Safari 4 is ok. I don’t like that the tags are on top. It’s just that much more I have to move my mouse. Doesn’t seem like much, but I can’t stand it. Chrome did it, but that doesn’t mean everyone has to.

  3. Sukrit Dhandhania

    Larry, do you have DirectX installed and enabled? I think that’s required for Cover Flow to work on Windows.

  4. I’ve downloades and installed Safari 4.0. Can’t figure out how to get Cover Flow up and working. Am in Windows Vista. What am I missing or where do I go on the menu????

    Seattle, WA

  5. I wonder why Apple decided to get their browser into the Windows platform. Perhaps to compete, but I don’t think Safari is that much of a big deal. It doesn’t have the same developer support that Mozilla has for add-ons and as much support.

    I don’t think Safari will ever be as mainstream, but the browser is wonderful. Thanks!

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