Apple Safari – A Browser with the Bite!
Apple’s iOS 8 features a revamped version of Safari, which is one of the most-used browsers in the world. Safari happens to be the default browser on Apple devices and it remains the only browser Apple doesn’t impose any restrictions on. So if you own an iPhone or iPad, you’re, for better or worse, stuck with it. Luckily, Safari happens to be a pretty good browser with good response times and plugin/ extension support.
After the latest update, Safari is now capable of performing some pretty cool tricks, some of which are not-so-obvious. Learning to use these hidden features will help you amp up your productivity and generally improve your surfing experience, so we recommend that you take some time and do just that.
Here’s our list of the hidden features of Safari on iOS 8 that we think you should get to know.
SEE ALSO: The 5 Best Alternative Browsers for iOS
A New Recently Closed Tabs Page
In iOS 7, if you wanted to open a tab that you’d closed recently, you had to navigate to Bookmarks, then tap on your History and finally tap on the listing.
In iOS 8, all you have to do is press and hold the “+” icon that you use to open new tabs. It will bring up a Recently Closed Tabs page you can use to open your closed tabs, saving you a couple of steps in the process.
Get Desktop Versions of Websites
We all know that mobile versions of websites are often stripped-down, simple versions of the real thing that cater to smaller screens and weaker hardware. Apple’s iPhones have always been shipped with the best hardware, though, and are easily capable of smoothly running even the most demanding website.
You can take advantage of all that powerful hardware and run desktop versions of your favorite websites with a few short steps (a feature, Google Chrome also supports).
Just highlight the URL of a website in the address bar by tapping it and swap down to reveal a “Request Desktop Site” option.
Private Browsing Through a New Window
Safari has supported private browsing for a while now, but you had to switch the entire browser to private browsing mode, which was really inconvenient when you had a lot of tabs open.
Now, though, you can enable private browsing by opening new tabs in a separate window by tapping the Private Mode in Safari.
When you’re done browsing in Private Mode, you can get back to your other open tabs in the regular browser, with the option of closing your private tabs or merging them with your open tabs.
Safari Supports the iSight Credit Card Scanner
If you shop a lot online, it’s now easier to input your credit card details with Safari.
Whenever you are asked to input your credit card number, a prompt will show up asking you to “Scan Credit Card”.
You can then hold your credit card before the iSight camera on your device to get Safari to automatically register and fill your card details.
You can also save your scanned credit cards (an option that was also present in iOS 7).
Use Auto Fill to Login Faster
Auto Fill stores your name, personal details, login credentials and even payment details (like credit card numbers).
In iOS 8, you can control for which of your favorite apps Auto Fill should store information.
Go to Settings > Safari, and tap Passwords & Auto Fill
Don’t Hand Your Data to Nosy Search Engines
Google records your personal search habits to show you relevant ads, everyone knows that. It’s not the only one – the other major search engines like Yahoo and Bing do that too.
If you don’t want Google or the other search engines learning about your surfing habits, you can use the DuckDuckGo engine to search for stuff. DuckDuckGo does not store your surfing habits or search terms and does not produce personalized search engine results.
With Safari on iOS 8, you can make DuckDuckGo your default search engine.
To do that, just tap the Settings app, tap the Search Engine option, and select the DuckDuckGo search engine (last on the list).
We hope these hidden features help you get the most out of Safari. If you’re still not satisfied with the Safari browser, you can try out Google Chrome. Be warned, though, that other browsers don’t have access to the same rendering engine that Safari does, which makes them less responsive than Safari. The only workaround is to jailbreak your device.