Apple Safari 3.1 finally out

After a somewhat disappointing beta release Apple released Safari version 3.1 earlier today. There’s no mention of any beta or RC so I assume it’s the first official release in the 3 series.

Nothing much has happened design wise, and to be honest it looks a bit dull and the font rendering isn’t among the best on my Windows machine. However, according to their press release Safari loads web pages 1.9 times faster than IE 7 and 1.7 times faster than Firefox 2. Safari also runs JavaScript up to six times faster than other browsers (tested on a VeriTests iBench Version 5.0 on a modern iMac running Windows XP). On my Windows machine it seamed quite the opposite though…

What’s new?

Safari 3.1 is the first browser to support the new video and audio tags in HTML 5 and the first to support CSS Animations. Safari also supports CSS Web Fonts, giving designers limitless choices of fonts to create stunning new web sites.

Safari 3.1 is available immediately as a free download at www.apple.com/safari for both Mac OS X and Windows users. Safari software updates are delivered seamlessly through Apple’s Software Update application, which automatically checks for updates.

Safari 3.1 scores well on the new Acid 3 test and passed 75 of 100 browser tests. It does use its time, but eventually it comes out rather well. If you run it with the latest WebKit (Safari’s rendering engine) I’ve been told it scores above 90.

So which browser do you think will pass the Acid 3 test first? I’m pulling for FF3 myself, but it sure looks like it’s going to be a close race.

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