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iOS 5 - A New Safari

November 20, 2011 - Dave Hecei

My original iPad has been running iOS5 for four days now. I have to say that there has been no problems to report. I've had to update most of the Apps, but those have been there for a while. Shortly after iOS5 was released the App updates have been piling up fast. Of course I haven't run every App I have on the iPad yet, but there really are no conflicts that I can find yet.

The big surprise so far is the vast improvement to Safari. This is the App that really made the iPhone the iPhone. The mobile version of Safari was a 'full' browser on a mobile device (minus Adobe Flash, obviously). The previous version of Safari on my iPad worked great. It wasn't really the best browser for looking at multiple sites but it was at least operational. You could open a link in another window, which on the desktop Safari could be done with Tab Browsing. Well, Tab Browsing is the 'Big Thing' in iOS5.

Now when you want to open a link you can create a new tab. The big difference between the old way and the new way is speed - plain and simple. With the old Safari, the new window would open and after I was done reading it or wanted to go back to where I was it would flip to that page but 9 out of 10 times it would have to completely reload that page, which sort of defeats the purpose of opening another window.

Now with real Tab Browsing in the new Safari I can have 3 or 4 tabbed pages and easily, and quickly, switch back and forth with no redrawing. This is really big for me. I don't know if it's my A.D.D. or what, but I like to jump around all over the net when I browse. This new feature is an amazing time saver. This alone has made my iPad 'feel' faster. Now I'm not as jealous of the iPad 2 as I was before iOS5.

The other new features I love is Reader and Read Later. Reader, as you might have guessed, works like OS X Safari 5 where you can click a button and get rid of all the extra ads and fluff and just get the main article. Read Later is also pretty easy to guess what it does. It allows you to mark a page to go back and read later - get it, Read Later. What's that you say - just bookmark it? There are times when you see something that you can't read right now but don't really need to save it for posterity. Instead of wasting bookmarks on sites that you don't really need to keep forever just mark it to read later.

More on iOS5 later as I work through the other new features.


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