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Apple releases Safari 5.1.4 with up to 11% faster JavaScript performance

Apple on Monday released a maitenance and security update for its Safari Web browser that promises up to an 11 percent Javascript performance boost over the previous version, in addition to delivery roughly a dozen other enhancements.

The Safari 5.1.4 update, available exclusively for Macs running Mac OS X Lion, includes changes that:
  • Improve JavaScript performance up to 11% over Safari 5.1.3
  • Improve responsiveness when typing into the search field after changing network configurations, or with an intermittent network connection
  • Address an issue that could cause webpages to flash white when switching between Safari windows
  • Address issues that prevented printing U.S. Postal Service shipping labels and embedded PDFs
  • Preserve links in PDFs saved from webpages
  • Fix an issue that could make Flash content appear incomplete after using gesture zooming
  • Fix an issue that could cause the screen to dim while watching HTML5 video
  • Improve stability, compatibility, and startup time when using extensions
  • Allow cookies set during regular browsing to be available after using Private Browsing
  • Fix an issue that could cause some data to be left behind after pressing the “Remove All Website Data” button

Apple says JavaScript performance testing was conducted in January 2012 on a 2.7 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5-based iMac 21.5-inch system using OS X Lion v10.7.3 and configured with 4 GB of RAM and an AMD Radeon HD 6770M with 512 MB of VRAM. JavaScript benchmarks are based on SunSpider 0.9.1.

The last update to Safari came in February in the form of Safari 5.1.3. It came bundled with the OS X 10.7.3 update Apple released for Lion.

While Monday's update is an incremental update, more significant changes to the Web browser are coming later this year with the launch of OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion. Safari 5.2 for Mountain Lion will sport a simplified user interface that has unified search, as well as new sharing features that make it easy to send links via the Messages application or post them on Twitter.