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Enhanced Features in Safari 4.1.x

Tiger users, who can’t upgrade to Safari 5, are not frozen in time in regard to Safari 4, although the ebook Take Control of Safari 4 is frozen where it is. The seemingly minor upgrade to Safari 4.1 actually provides much of the functionality of Safari 5, as detailed here:

Here’s a fleshed-out explanation of the two most important performance enhancements in Safari 4.1 (extracted from the ebook Take Control of Safari 5):

  • Prefetching and caching: Yes, it sounds like a Letterman “Stupid Pet Trick,” but “prefetching” is a clever way to increase your perceived page-loading speed as you go from one page to another. While you’re looking at one page, Safari scans it for links and looks up the DNS entry (the actual location of a page) for each, in case you click one. Improved caching (storing the pages you visit) should get you back to a previous location more quickly than in Safari 4.0.x.

  • New HTML support: This isn’t exactly invisible, since it’s all about seeing content on a page, but neither is it something you control or tweak. It just is—as long as Web pages use it. There’s support for new, cutting-edge HTML 5 features for typography, video, and graphics (transitions, gallery options, and virtual-reality viewing). Check out the mouth-watering examples at These samples are proof that the Web can be an incredibly visually rich place without Flash, but until other browsers also fully support these standards, you might not be able to enjoy anything except examples.

When it comes to capabilities you can see and manipulate, the Safari 4.1 (and later) update includes four items of note, each worthy of its own, more-detailed, entry in this blog:

  • Bing and Yahoo options for the search field

  • Enhanced auto-complete in the address field

  • The return of the blue progress bar in the address field

  • For tabbed browsing: a setting to make tabs the default for opening new pages; easier-to-drag tabs; and, an Undo command for when you accidentally close a tab.

Posted by Sharon Zardetto (Permalink)