Last week Apple introduced Safari 4 Beta and brought Safari users over 150 new features. Here are a few of the features that have made me, at least temporarily, switch from Firefox:

Safari Top Sites

  1. It’s wicked fast, especially for JavaScript execution.
  2. It’s available on Windows and Mac (are you listening Google?)
  3. Top Sites one-ups Google’s Chrome in style and function:
    1. Slick 3-D display of your most visited sites (thanks Cooliris!)
    2. Pinnable and sortable top sites are like visual bookmarks.

      Though, interestingly, I’m not as enthusiastic about the addition of Coverflow for bookmarks and history. I’d rather see the Top Sites metaphor extended to include these items.
    3. Nice little indicator of when pages have been updated.
    4. It’s a keyboard shortcut away (Shift+cmd+1 on a Mac)
  4. Tabs at the top (I know, Chrome was first here) save vertical space.
  5. Integrated developer tools (think Firebug)
  6. The fact that right-click on text automatically highlights the word your cursor is over and offers Dictionary, Spotlight and search of the highlighted term.
  7. Smart zooming of page content zooms the entire page, not just the text. I assume this is the same technology thats been on the iPhone since it was introduced.
  8. The Welcome page is a nice touch and reminds me of the kind of attention to detail Apple gives to packaging it’s physical products.

Will I stick with Safari as my primary browser? Probably not. It lacks the extensibilitythat makes Firefox so compelling. But in the mean time it’s a nice source of design inspiration and it’s faster than anything else out there.