The Safari browser from Apple can be used on any platform, whether it’s a Windows machine, an Apple computer or iPad, or a mobile device such as an iPod or an iPhone. There are rumors that it’s even being ported to the Android operating system, but nothing firm yet from Google or Apple. Those that have been using Apple products for some time are probably familiar with Safari, but Windows users may not be aware of it yet.
This is part of a Digital Landing series discussing all five of the most popular browsers.
However, even longtime Apple product users may not be completely aware of all the advanced features that the browser has. In many ways, I consider it to be a much better browser than Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. I’m going to introduce the browser and some of its advanced features to you, so you can decide whether or not it’s good enough to replace your current browser.
Safari Browser — Main Window
If you’ve spent much time browsing the web, the main window of the Safari Browser looks and feels pretty familiar, although, it does have some minor differences compared to the browser you may be using now. As you read through the points below, refer back to the image above to see where what I’m mentioning is located.
- Back and Forward Buttons: Just like IE and FF, these buttons move you back and forward one page in your browsing history.
- Add Bookmark Button: This button adds the current page to your bookmarks list.
- Address-Load Status Bar: This is like the address bar of other browsers except it also shows the progress as the page loads.
- RSS Feed/Reader Button: Adds the current page to your RSS feed or opens the Safari RSS Reader. This button also shows the progress as the page loads.
- Reload/Stop Button: Allows you to reload the current page or stop the page from loading when pushed, depending on the load status at the time.
- Search history Button: If you’ve performed a search recently, pushing this button allows you to review your most recent searches and bring up the results.
- Smart Search: Similar to the search box in other browsers, this field allows you to enter search criteria.
- Search SnapBack: This is a unique feature of Safari that allows you to jump back to the last search you performed and re-display those results.
- Page Menu Button: Displays any special options for the currently displayed web page.
- Safari Settings Menu Button: Opens the Safari settings options dialog.
- Bookmarks Bar: This is where your favorite bookmarks are displayed. They can be grouped however you want to make accessing them easier.
- Browser Tabs: Shows all of your open tabs.
- New/Next Tab Button: Opens a new tab.
Remove Advertisements from Long Articles
Many websites use advertisements to supplement their income or support the site. Sometimes these advertisements can be, well, annoying is probably the nicest word I can come up with. Those ads breaking up the story make it very difficult to follow the story line. The Safari browser is able to detect these long articles that are broken up with advertisements. By pressing the “Reader” button on the far right of the address bar that appears when Safari detects a long article, it will open the Safari Reader window. This window displays the article without all the “extra stuff” that detracts from the reading experience. See the image above for an example.
Save Sites You Visit Daily in Your “Reading List”
Bookmarks are great, but sometimes you want a special list of sites that you visit more often, something like a “Special Reading List.” Well, that’s where Safari’s Reading List (nice name, huh?) comes in quite handy. An example of a site/page you might put here could be the TV Guide television listings page or the homepage of your hometown newspaper. You can access the “Reading List” by clicking the glasses icon at the bottom left of the menu ribbon. See screenshot above.
Apple Saved the ‘Niftiest’ Feature for Lion Users
Obviously, Apple’s going to save the best for its native users, people that own a product running a version of the newer iOS. I’m hoping that Apple will make them available to us Windows users soon, but I’m not holding my breath. I’m talking about Multi-Touch Gestures. If you’ve got an iPhone, iPad, or Android phone or tablet, you’re probably familiar with at least some of these. See the image above.
- Swipe to Navigate: This is similar to back and forward buttons but you swipe your finger across the thumb pad to go forward or back a page.
- Tap to Zoom: Want a closer look at something on the page? No problem, just double-tap the spot you want to get a better look at and Safari will zoom right to it.
- Pinch to Zoom: Zoom with precision. This is similar to image viewers on most mobile devices.
- Two-Finger Scrolling: Users of windows laptops with thumb pads are probably familiar with this feature. Run two fingers up or down the side of the track pad to scroll through long pages.
We’ll be reviewing five different free browsers in this series, so hopefully, you’ll figure out which one works best for you and your computer.