Safari 3.1 is out now, and according to Apple is the first web browser to support the new video and audio tags in HTML 5, as well as CSS Web Fonts and CSS animations. Update: Testing the new features now (with video.) Impressions after the jump.
First, it requires a restart (damnation) but it's worth it. So far, it seems faster loading pages than the previous versions. And the response in CSS heavy pages seems more fluid (see reported problems at the end.) We are trying now the new CSS animation, Web Fonts, and multimedia support in HTML 5.
The new HTML 5 video element works great, without a glitch, as the video shows. A page encoded with the new video will show you the video without any problem, like if it was a picture integrated in the page. If you pass the cursor over it, it will show you overlaid controls in the movie, and when you resize it using the + icon, it grows until it fill the full column, making all the other elements in the layout to move fluidly. You can try it here.
They also work without problems, although I've yet to find a page to really put the whole spec through its paces.
Not that it means a lot in terms of real world browser performance but, weirdly enough, Safari 3.1 only gets 74/100 here on the Acid 3 test. The latest nightly built of WebKit apparently was getting 93/100 as of yesterday.
Benny and Wilson say that they are having problems using the shift key in Gmail. Trying to type with the shift key pressed will change the field focus for them. It works fine for me. If you have any problem or test, please write in the comments.
More updates as we test these features.
Apple Releases Safari 3.1
The World's Fastest Browser Now on Mac and Windows
"Safari 3.1 for Mac and Windows is blazingly fast, easy to use and features an elegant user interface," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. "And best of all, Safari supports the latest audio, video and animation standards for an industry-leading Web 2.0 experience."
The incredible performance of Safari, combined with its elegant user interface, lets users spend more time surfing the web and less time waiting for pages to load. Safari features an intuitive browsing experience with drag-and-drop bookmarks, easy-to-organize tabs, an integrated Find that shows the number of matches in a page and a built-in RSS reader to quickly scan the latest news and information.
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.
Pricing & Availability
Safari 3.1 is available immediately as a free download at http://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 for Mac OS X requires Mac OS X Leopard(R) or Mac OS X Tiger(R) version 10.4.11, a minimum of 256MB of memory and is designed to run on any Intel-based Mac or a Mac with a PowerPC G5, G4 or G3 processor and built-in FireWire(R). Safari 3.1 for Windows requires Windows XP or Windows Vista, a minimum of 256MB of memory and a system with at least a 500 MHz Intel Pentium processor.