Apple Safari 4

Safari won't change the browser game the way the iPhone has changed mobile phones. Though Safari 4 is fast (with the Nitro JavaScript engine) and innovative (thanks to some Ul enhance¬ments), Google Chrome is still the speed leader on my tests, and Safari lacks innova¬tions, like the WebSlices and Accelerators in Internet Explorer and the extreme custom¬izability of Firefox. Nevertheless, Safari (on both Mac and Windows) is definitely a fine performer in terms of speed and usability.

For the final release, Safari backtracked on one of the beta's distinguishing interface features, the Chrome-like "Tabs on Top," which placed page tabs above the address bar. But Safari 4 does retain the most eye¬catching trait of the beta: Top Sites, which shows your most-accessed Web pages in a glorious 3D view. In this and elsewhere, it brings the added elegance and clever interface ideas we've come to expect from Apple.

Safari is considerably faster at JavaScript rendering than IE 8—but Chrome is still the leader by a slim margin. On the SunSpider Java-Script Benchmark, Safari 4 returned a score of 1,707 milliseconds (ms)-a remarkable improvement over the beta's 3,757 ms. This trounces lE's awful 10,108 ms and is just behind Chrome's 1,656 ms. In the real world, browsing demanding pages with Safari 4 usually felt snappy. Although Safari 4 adds some welcome innovations, it's a bit of a memory hog, and fans of Firefox's extensions won't be tempted to switch.

Apple Safari 4
PROS: Very fast JavaScript performance. Beautiful inter¬face elements like Cover Flow. Built-in RSS reader. Good standards support. Neat tab implementation.
CONS: No extensions or themes.
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