New Safari 4 Frustrates, but Is Blazing Fast

Apple browser's UI improvements flop, but halve load times
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 5, 2009 1:00 PM CST
Graphic shows statistics for leading Web browsers.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Apple’s new Safari 4 browser is the fastest available by far, Walter Mossberg writes in the Wall Street Journal, but the much-hyped “user-interface changes are a big disappointment.” In most cases, Safari just follows other browsers with helpful improvements to its format. But moving tabs to the very top of the window, a mistake copied from Google’s Chrome, “actually make the browser harder to use.”

Tested on multiple PCs and Macs—the new Safari is available for download on both—at various connection speeds, “the results were striking,” Mossberg writes. “In nearly every case, Safari 4 was much faster than any of the other browsers. In many of my tests, it required only a third or a half of the time to load a given page.”