Apple Lifts The Curtain On Safari 4 Beta

launched the public beta CSS

In the Safari 4 beta, Apple paid significant attention to improving performance. Safari 4's new Nitro JavaScript engine runs JavaScript up to 30 times faster than Internet Explorer 7 and three times faster than Firefox 3. The Safari 4 beta also loads HTML pages three times faster than both browsers, according to Apple.

Apple also has made the Safari 4 beta compliant with HTML 5, allowing Web-based apps to store data locally when not connected to the Internet, and CSS 3, which enables the browser to display advanced Web graphics such as shadows and gradients.

The Safari 4 beta also has achieved the top score of 100 out of 100 in the Web Standards Project's Acid3 test, which determines how closely Web browsers hew to established Web standards. In contrast, the latest version of Internet Explorer, IE8 Release Candidate 1, has an Acid3 test score of 20/100.

Safari is built on WebKit, an open-source project Apple launched with a goal of building standards-compliant browsers. Google Chrome, the Google Android browser, the Nokia Series 60 browser and Palm webOS are other examples of WebKit-based browsers.

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The Safari 4 beta comes in Mac OS X and Windows flavors and is now available to the public as a free download.