Safari 4 Beta Available

Categories: Google Chrome WebKit

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Hot off the browser press, Safari 4 Beta just released this morning (available to download here). First impressions: love the intro animation, almost like starting up an install of Mac OS X for the first time - I wonder if that’s hinting at the movement toward browsers playing a more central role in acting as your “operating system”?

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I can’t help but wonder if Apple is purposefully taking a page from Google by putting Tabs at the top of the interface, or by having a page preview based view of your history (although in a slightly cooler, curved 3D wall than Chrome or Opera’s flat grid). Apple copying Google for UI design? Blasphemy!

The Coverflow style view when searching your browser history is also a nice touch. However, something I don’t like is that form elements and the search field no longer draw the glowing blue Aqua-style focus “rectangle”. This is probably in preparation for the Marble theme said to be coming in Snow Leopard.

Worth noting: On OS X 10.5, Safari 4 seems to have some trouble with Spaces, and switching to the appropriate space when in Top Sites view. It also closes the whole window when hitting Command+W in Top Sites view, regardless of how many other tabs you have open in that window.