If mobile browsing stats are any indication, iOS users spend way more time on the web than their Android counterparts. Given how much we rely on Safari, though, there are a surprising number of features that you might not have heard of. Here are just a few that can help you browse more powerfully and efficiently.
You’re scrolling through a lengthy article on the history of Prussia – as you do – trying to find a vaguely remembered fact about legendary chancellor Otto von Bismarck, but it’s just not popping to mind. To search a webpage for some specific text, tap on the location bar and enter the term you want to find – then scroll down to the bottom and find the On This Page heading. Safari will tell you how many matches there are for that text; tap the entry and it will even let you quickly jump through them, highlighting each instance in yellow.
We’ve all accidentally closed important tabs and not realised it until later. No sweat: Just tap and hold on the New Tab button in the toolbar and you’ll get a pop-up menu listing all of your recently closed tabs – it’s way faster than trying to get to Safari’s History listing. Tap any of the tabs in this list to load them once again.
If you’ve ever had tab proliferation strike, you know it can be a pain to go through and close all those sites one by one. Fortunately, there’s an easier way: Tap on the location bar and then tap the Private button just above the keyboard – you’ll be prompted to either keep your current tabs or close them all. Tap Close All and then tap Private again to return to normal browsing. Voilà, a fresh slate!
Finally, a small but handy tip. I enjoy the web comic XKCD, but usually at least half the joke is hidden in the caption text (also called ‘alt text’). It used to be you had to go to a special mobile version of the site to view it on your phone or tablet, but starting in iOS 7, you can simply tap and hold on any image to bring up a popup that includes that extra text.