Safari 5 Has A New Read On The Web - InformationWeek

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6/9/2010
03:08 PM
Jim Rapoza
Jim Rapoza
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Safari 5 Has A New Read On The Web

While the biggest news from Apple this week centered around the new iPhone, Apple also released a new version of another product, and it's one that anyone can freely use now. Safari 5 is the latest version of the Apple web browser and among the new features in the browser is a Reader mode that makes it a pleasure to read long articles on the Web.

While the biggest news from Apple this week centered around the new iPhone, Apple also released a new version of another product, and it's one that anyone can freely use now. Safari 5 is the latest version of the Apple web browser and among the new features in the browser is a Reader mode that makes it a pleasure to read long articles on the Web.

Though Safari is the dominant web browser on the Macintosh (and on Apple mobile devices), it is still very much a minor player on Windows systems. Still, Safari 5 has a few capabilities that make it worth a look for both Mac and Windows users.

Chief among these is the Reader mode. Essentially what this feature does is make it possible to read a multi-page web article in a single scrollable view but it really is much more than that (and much better than simply opening the Print view of an article). And it appears to work with most articles on websites without the sites having to do anything to enable the feature.

When I browsed to a web article, a Reader button appeared on the right hand side of the address bar in Safari 5. By clicking this button I brought up a scrollable window in the middle of the browser screen that displayed the entire article, no matter how many pages the site had broken it up into. The Reader view was very attractive and easy to read, making an article on a webpage look more like something that had been configured for an ebook format. I enjoyed the Reader view so much that if I ran into a long article while using another browser, I fired up Safari and switched over so I could read the article in Reader mode.

Of course, some websites may not like the Reader mode all that much. Mainly because the only advertisements that were visible in the Reader mode were those that were embedded in the body of the article. All other banners and sidebar ads were not visible.

Safari 5 also includes several other new features, including the ability to configure the search bar to use Bing, Google or Yahoo for the integrated search features. There are also several new developer tools included.

Like Chrome, Safari has expanded its ability to be extended by developers and there are already a good number of extensions available for the browser, though no where near the number currently available for Firefox.

Also like Chrome and Firefox, Safari 5 continues the Apple browser's move to support the forthcoming HTML 5 standard. This version of Safari includes new support for many HTML 5 capabilities, including video improvements such as full screen video and closed captioning.

To try out the new Apple Safari 5 browser for yourself, go to www.apple.com/safari

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