Apple is trumpeting its updated Apple Safari 4 web browser as exceptionally fast and innovative. It certainly looks good, but what does it actually offer? We gave it a quick spin to see what's under its hood.
Another useful addition is the RSS feed at the far end of the address bar. Where a site has an RSS (really simple syndication) feed so you can receive updates in your email inbox, clicking on the blue RSS icon gives you options for which feeds you get.
Similarly, the News button in the links bar lets you view updates from a range of publications and websites. As with the Popular list, a tabbed view is available, and it's also possible to customise your settings.
We like the fact that you can view the stories here by source, date or title and can specify whether Safari displays related stories on the topic or a simple list of articles from a range of sources. An 'article length' slider lets you adjust this to suit.
We've yet to find a way to activate and deactivate the sources on offer to make them more UK-specific, for example.
The Settings tab offers a comprehensive set of customisation options. You can also launch the Private Browsing feature and clear the History so that other people using the PC can't follow your web trail.
Preferences extend to how frequently the History cache should be cleared out, whether Safari should use a particular style sheet standard, the text encoding, Auto Fill for passwords and usernames at secure sites, and so on.
While it's too soon to say whether Safari will become our browser of choice, our first impressions of a highly user-definable experience and a neatly ordered information repository in which items are quietly logged and can be called up again whenever we need. We'll give you a fuller review in due course, once we've run some more formal tests to establish whether it live up to its claims of being speedier and more innovative than the rest of the browser bunch.
See also: Mozilla Firefox 3.0 review