The New Safari 4 Beta
Having used the new Safari 4 beta for a solid twenty-four hours, it is safe to report that Apple has once again proved herself to be the greatest software producer on planet earth. Not only did "the world's fastest web browser" get significantly faster, but its evolution has sprouted some incredibly useful features that will quickly redefine the way people surf the web. As usual, Apple implemented a load of breathtaking eye candy in developing its user experience. Both the new "top sites" feature (a stunning tower of screen shots featuring your favorite sites) and the new cover-flow view ("flip" through your browsing history just like you would with album artwork in iTunes) are just as sweet as a lollypop.
Other notable features: the tabs have been moved to the top of the page to make more room to view your websites, the blue loading bar that advanced under the text of the web address has been removed and replaced with a twirly loading thing to the right of the address bar, the google search feature now provides suggestions while you type, and for those using Safari on a PC (loosers) - while Safari 3 looked just like an application in Mac OS X, you will now find that the new browser is designed to fit the general (horrific) look and feel of Windows XP or Vista.
While it is only in beta mode, there will expected problems (yet I have not found any) over the next months that will have to be addressed (the beta does include a "bug" button that allows you to report to Apple any problems you experience). Yet what is most exciting about this beta, that you will not find around the Apple site, is that an update to Safari is sure to usher in the release of Snow Leopard, the next version of Mac OS X. Maybe that does not excite you as much as it does a fanboy like me, but then again, not everyone can be this cool.