Browser Update: Safari

Safari is the onboard browser for Apple and there is also a Windows version available as a free download. It has a deceptively simple design but a lot of functionality. In addition to the common tools found in most browsers – bookmarks, tabbed browsing and plugins – Safari has features you won’t find elsewhere. Here’s a look at some of the features that make Safari unique:

  • Web Archive. If you visit a site and want to save a copy of that page, Safari lets you save the page as a web archive. The page is saved to your computer with all the content, images and layout intact. You can view your web archive files in Safari browser even when you aren’t connected to the Internet.
  • Reading List (the eyeglasses icon you see at the left end of the bookmark bar) lets you save web pages to read later. And, if you’re an iCloud user, Safari can be configured to save your reading list in your iCloud so they’re automatically available on all your devices.
  • Safari Reader is just as interesting. When Safari detects you are on a page that contains an article, the Reader icon appears in the Smart Address Bar. Click on it and a pane opens presenting a clean version of the article for you to read. Click on the icon again and you’re back on the web page.
  • There’s both a spell checker and grammar checker built into the browser which comes in handy when you’re commenting at blog sites or filling in forms online.
  • The search function will search both the web and the current page. Researchers will love the orange Snap Back icon that appears in the search bar once you follow a link from your search results. Click on it and you are returned to your search results page. It’s a little thing, but boy does it come in handy.
  • Bloggers can take advantage of the Developers menu (has to be turned on in Preferences) to see what their blog looks like in other browsers. Choose the Open Page With … option from the Develop menu and choose the browser you want. The Develop > User Agent command lets you see what your page looks like in various versions – including iPhone and iPad. Safari also supports the Web Open Font Format (WOFF) which means it displays all the new web fonts beautifully.
  • Safari Extensions Gallery isn’t near as large as Chrome of Firefox, but you will find plenty of familiar faces like Evernote, Instapaper, 1Password and more.

These are just a few of the many things Safari can do. To get a complete list of features, check out the Safari page at Apple.