Explore new features in Safari iOS 8

Many of us use Safari for a browser. But there are loads of little tips and tricks that you may not know about. You’ve probably accidentally hit a few buttons and something popped up. So here is a list of new Safari tricks for iOS 8 that could help you navigate your Safari browser like a pro.

Fullscreen view

Safari for iPad also gets the new fullscreen mode, which was introduced for the iPhone in iOS 7, where the search field at the top and the toolbar at the bottom disappear when you’re browsing, and shows you the content with domain name of the website in the status bar. Just tap the screen to get back your toolbars.

New Sidebar

Safari on the iPad gets a new Sidebar that can be accessed by tapping on the bookmark button, it gives you access to your bookmarks, Reading List and Shared links from Twitter.

safari ios 8-sidebar

Tab view

The Tab view on Safari is more organised, as tabs from the same site are grouped together, and the tabs open on your other devices are nicely arranged below the tabs. You can switch to the tab view with a two or three-finger pinch gesture as you can see in the video below, which is quite cool. If you use Safari and iCloud Tabs, you can now swipe to close tabs from a different device. For example, you can close a tab open on your iPad from your iPhone.

safari ios 8_tab view

You Can Access Recently Closed Tabs Faster

Unintentionally closing a tab in Safari could be as simple as the slip of a finger. Apple now makes it easy to retrieve closed tabs in iOS 8—just hold down on the + (plus sign) and a Recently Closed Tabs page will appear.

safari ios 8_recent closed tabs

Safari in iOS 8 has a nifty new feature which makes it much easier to a) add a site to your list of favorites and b) more easily access the desktop version of a mobile site. The latter is a godsend for websites whose mobile websites are more clunky and less functional than their desktop counterparts. 

Add a webpage to the Favorites

When you're on a webpage, simply tap the URL bar once to bring up Safari's "favorites" view. Next, simply swipe downwards from anywhere below the URL bar and two new options will appear: "Add to Favorites".

safari ios 8_quick add to favorites

Request Desktop site

Most third-party browsers like Chrome have an option for users to request for the Desktop site for quite sometime. You will finally be able to request the Desktop version of the site in Safari by simply tapping on the URL of the website, swipe the screen of the Safari homepage down on the screen, then tap on Request Desktop Site. As you can see, you also have an “Add to Favorites”, which is a lot easier and faster way to add a website to Favorites. Read more here.

safar ios 8_request desktop site


Create a Separate Window for Private Browsing

Instead of switching your entire browser to private mode, iOS 8 now has its own private mode page. Tapping on Private Mode in Safari will take you to another page separate from the regular browser, where you can browse anonymously. Once you're done, you can switch back to the regular browser (where your other tabs are),  by tapping Private again with the option to either close or keep all of your private tabs.

safari ios 8_private browsing

Quickly add the current webpage to Bookmarks or Reading List

If you tap & hold the bookmarks button in the Safari toolbar, you'll be able to quickly add the current webpage to your bookmarks or Shared Links.

safari ios 8_quick add to favorites

Search popular websites instantly

Now here's a super useful thing that most people will probably never even know about. If you go into Safari's settings, there's a new "Quick Website Search" feature. Whenever you search a website (eg Amazon, ), Safari remembers that. So from then on, you can just launch a Safari search, type out "amazon" ahead of your search term, and Safari will offer to (instantly) search the website itself.

Make sure this is turned on in Settings. Open Settings, Safari, Quick Website Search - turn ON. Now you can search within a website by typing the website name as part of your search. In this example, I am searching for all instances of iCloud on the website: technologyfueled.com

safari ios 8_search web site

Are you new to your iPad? This video explores the features of the Safari mobile web browser on an iPad using iOS 8. It also explains how to change Safari's settings to get particular functions to work. Learn how to work with windows, tabs, cached items when you don't have wifi, and even private browsing.