The iPad really shines as a powerful media consumption device. It’s also a great tool for finding and interacting with information on the internet as well as a repository for offline browsing of articles and links saved to your Reading List. But how well are you really acquainted with all the benefits Safari for the iPad has to offer? In no particular order, here are the (5) most useful features that make interacting with Safari on the iPad an enjoyable and productive experience.
Sharing Links & Subscriptions
While using Safari in iOS 8, you will notice that Apple has finally added the ability to share links and subscriptions across multiple services. You can control what shows up in your sharing preferences and manipulate the order in which they appear by going to the share button at the top of your browser page, just to the left of the (+) add tab button. All apps that are installed on your device that have the ability to share a link will reside here. At the far right of the list you can click on the (…) more button to add and remove available apps as well as re-order them.
Add links to Reading List
While there are many other services and apps out there that already accomplish this basic, but very useful feature, it is really nice to have it built into Safari for those occasions when you see something you would like to look at in more depth, but just don’t currently have the time. Or perhaps, you just want to save it to show someone else at a later date, and the ease at which you can do this without leaving the browser makes it an easy choice. One of the reasons I like Reading List so much, is that all your saved items are also available for offline browsing. To add an item to your Reading List, use the share button described above, and select it from the list of items on the bottom row. You can access your saved Reading List by selecting the bookmark link to the left of the web-browser address field.
Remove clutter with Safari Reader view
The the trending focus with many apps these days is to–well, stay focused. There are many apps that have a “focus” or “distraction free” view with the intention of creating an atmosphere for the writer that is free from distractions and shiny buttons. Safari has you covered there as well. This is great for all those times where you just want to read an article and you could care less about the ridiculous amount of plug-ins or moving pictures that load with the article you just clicked on. When Safari Reader view is available, you can select it by clicking on the bar icon to the left of the web-browser address field. While in Reader view you can share just the article text, along with a link to that text by tapping the share button. Lastly, you can also adjust the text size of articles displayed in Reader view by tapping the smaller or larger “A” just below the web-browser address field.
Use Auto-Fill in Safari to populate web forms
Let’s face it–we all hate filling out forms, especially redundant, long, drawn out forms that we have information in them we have already completed sometime in the recent past. No worries, with auto-fill in Safari, you can choose to have the browser save information that will made available to you the next time a similar task needs to be completed. This is especially helpful when you need to submit username and passwords, in addition to credit card information used for online purchases. To be able to fill this info in automatically, go to Settings–> Safari–> Passwords & Autofill, and select the task you wish to have saved.
Privacy and Security Settings
Security has always been a concern on the web. However, today the consequences of not taking extra measures to secure even the most basic of personal information can have catastrophic results for an individual. Luckily, Apple has always taken security very seriously–and here’s how they assist in protecting your privacy within Safari. The following information can all be accessed in your Settings app on your iPad under Safari–> Privacy and Security.
- Allow Safari to crate passwords and store than on your iPad for you. If you are creating a new account online, when you select the “password” field Safari will prompt you with an option to generate a password for you and store in in your iCloud keychain so it is available to you on all the devices you are signed into iCloud.
- Turn on Private browsing to keep your browsing history from appearing in iCloud tabs or in your browser history.
- Control what cookies are stores on your iPad and remove the ones already installed.
- Remove any saved browsing history
- Activate the Fraudulent Website Warning feature
- Keep your browsing history from being tracked–although not all websites abide by this request