Tabbed Browsing for iPad’s Safari in iOS 5 Looks Good

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iOS5TabbedBrowsing

One of the very nice new features in iOS 5 is tabbed browsing in the Mobile Safari app on the iPad. I’ve been trying it out a little this week on my iPad V1 that’s running the latest beta of iOS 5 – and it works very well.

It is, as I’m sure most of you would expect, much nicer than having to work with separate pages in Safari. And it has been implemented well by Apple. One thing Safari lets you do that I’ve not seen in any other browser app is tap and drag to move tabs around, quite a nice feature.

One not so nice feature so far in Safari is that it seems to want to reload the page when you move from one tab to another far more often than, say, the Terra browser does. It’s not a constant issue, but it happens often enough to be noticeable – and should hopefully be improved in the next beta release.

For those of you running the iOS 5 betas, what are your thoughts on tabbed browsing?


Patrick Jordan

Founder and Editor in Chief of iPad Insight. Husband, father to a lovely daughter, Commander of the Armies of the North, dog lover (especially Labs), Austinite, former Londoner, IT consultant, huge sports nut, iPad and mobile tech blogger, mobile apps junkie.

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20 thoughts on “Tabbed Browsing for iPad’s Safari in iOS 5 Looks Good”

  1. I don’t like it either. I want the button back where I can see all my open tabs. Why would they get rid of that view?

  2. Completely agree with John B.

    I liked the “see all windows” at once view. Bring it back! … or at least give me the option to use either tabs or ‘global’ Safari view. The new tabs suck.

  3. i liked the old one too. i have difficulty now downgrading back to older version. there also seem to be no alternative browser for non-tabbed users like me, everybody seem to develop for tabbed browsing… am v frustrated. i hate tabbed browsing on a mobile device.

  4. I agree with other users comments about the new tabbed browsing which makes it more difficult to see and adds to clutter…I much prefer the visual array to see the pages that are open …please bring back ( or the option)

  5. My wife won’t talk to me anymore after IOS 5 because of the new tabs in Safari. Bring back the the “see all windows” on the background!!!

  6. I hate tabbed browsing! I kept bragging to others about the nice overview Safari gives, now it’s gone…. At least give us a choice!

  7. I really can’t stand these tabs. I would revert back to the old version of the OS just to go back to the old Safari. I like to keep lots of windows open that I can go back to days or weeks later, and with the tabs I have to click on every one of them just to rember what is there. With the old version I could immediately see what was on each page, and quickly go to the page I was trying to find.

    The thing that makes me most mad is that Apple refuses to let you choose what you want. I understand there are some who like tabs, but why not let you choose which way you want to use? This is like when they made the screen-lock button a mute button… a real annoyance for me every time I pick my iPad up.

  8. I was so excited to hear that tabbed browsing was coming to ios5. Problem is that they removed the ability to jump to the top of a webpage by taping on the top toolbar. Thats a big downer… Any one know of a way to accomplish this?

    1. You can tap on the status bar to return to the top of the page just as always in iOS 5. If that’s not working on your iPad then you need to troubleshoot the issue, but it’s definitely not something that has been removed in iOS 5.

  9. I came to this site hoping I was too stupid to figure out how to get my icon page view back in Safari. I agree with the others. Tabbed browsing is fine unless it replaces something that was better. Apple really messed up on this one. I can’t believe the old view wouldn’t at least be an option. Sheesh!

  10. I just upgraded and couldn’t be angrier. What will apple choose for me next? Wife? Job? Let me choose my viewing style, especially when the old one worked great.

  11. I’m like Tom…wife is furious with the awful tabbing. She loved the thumbnail view of open pages, knowing from the thumbnail what page it was and not having to read the stupid tab that takes up precious screen real-estate. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”…gawd I say that a lot lately.

  12. I test software for my job and can’t believe this wasn’t picked up by their user testing – I know alot of people like the tabbed view, but Apple gave us this ‘all window’ view which was much easier to use on a touch screen than tabbed view – and everyone I know loved it. The size of the windows let you quickly and easily see all your open windows and select really quickly.

    With tabbed view and several tabs open you have to read through the tabs and scroll through to find the page your were looking for and then try and select the narrow tab you want to view.

    please can we have the option in the next update please. I really liked the usability of the all window view and can’t understand why they would have changed it. Is there another web browser that does that view? Or can we load just the older version of safari back in?

  13. This what I did the moment I updated my iPad:

    I looked at my browser.
    I saw there was no more thumbnails.
    I saw that Safari now used tabbed browsing.
    I started looking up ways to downgrade to an older version of iOS.

    I am beyond disappointed right now, and I feel like a complete idiot for downloading the update. Tabs on a a PC or a laptop is completely understandable, it’s easy. Tabs on a mobile device such as an iPad? Absolutely not! The tabs make the screen WAY too cluttered, and it’s not as easy for someone with big finger like me. I preferred the thumbnails because of the way that they were presented. I could just click the thumbnails icon to open them, then see all my thumbnails at once. Easy.
    Tabs make things very cluttered and difficult. Whoever in Apple thought tabbed browsing on a touchpad was a good idea should be fired, because it sucks. And I have Tourettes, Autism, ADHD, and OCD. I got used to the old system and it was so easy to comprehend and use. I am officially going to downgrade to version 4.3.3, just so I can use more apps, such as the WWE app. But if 4.2 is the last version with thumbnails, I will downgrade if necessary.

    So overall, almost everything that I loved about my iPad before the update is now either gone for good or replaced. My pictures are all out of order, I had to re-download all my songs and videos, and now I’m stuck with a ridiculous and completely unnecessary browsing system with no way of returning to the original system without downgrading. Shame on Apple for not providing an option to keep thumbnails.

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