Apple's web browser, Safari has been given some significant updates in iOS 7. They include a new, unified address and search bar that's smarter than ever, a new rolodex-like tab interface on the iPhone, an easier-to-access Private browsing mode, a much-improved Reading List with continuous scrolling between articles, and a similar Shared Links list that surfaces great stuff from the people we follow. Then there's iCloud Keychain, a simple way to generate, store, fill, and sync passwords, and use credit cards, between all your Apple devices. Finding it all, never mind figuring it all out, can take a little time. That's why we make ultimate guides, and why we made this ultimate guide to iOS 7 Safari!
With iOS 7 Apple has brought the unified address and search bar to the Safari web browser. That means not only can you type in the names of your favorite web sites and get taken right to them, directly, but you can type in any terms you like and get back search results from Google, including top results, standard results, history and bookmark results, and even results from the text of the page you're currently on. Because some things have moved around, and it's more tightly packed then ever, it can take some getting used to. But, once you're familiar with it, the unified smart search field should prove faster and more efficient than ever.
By default, Safari saves any webpage you visit to you browser history, and makes them available to all your other Apple devices via iCloud Tabs. If for any reason you don't want certain sites you visit to get saved to history or made available to iCloud Tabs - we don't judge! - you can quickly and easily enter Private Browsing mode. Switching to Private Browsing mode will also prevent websites from tracking you with cookies, and autofill from saving or completing any of your personal data. What's more, iOS 7 makes it easier to access than ever before.
Safari for iOS 7 allows you to keep up to two-dozen or more tabs open at the same time. That's fantastic... until you want to close them all and quickly. Then you're either touching-and-flinging cards (iPhone and iPod touch) or tapping little X icons, over and over and over again. Luckily, there's a great work-around that lets you close all the tabs you have, all at once. Here's how!
iCloud Tabs let you quickly and easily access web pages that you've already opened in Safari on your other Apple devices, be they other iPhones, iPod touches, iPads, or Macs. That's right, any and every other Apple device you own, if it's logged into iCloud with the same Apple ID, will automatically share its tabs with every other device. (Tabs created in Private Browsing mode are excluded, of course - Apple doesn't judge!) While this isn't a new feature, and works pretty much the same on Mac and iPad as it did previously, for iPhone and iPod touch, the way you access iCloud Tabs has changed in iOS 7. Here's how it's done now!
Reading Lists is Apple's own take on a read-it-later service. Built right into the Safari browser, you can save any webpage you find interesting but just don't happen to have time for at the moment. Then, you can come back when you're ready, and find all your saved items, all in one convenient place. Because Reading Lists sync, you can also save things from your iPhone on the go, then read them at home later on your iPad, or stack up a bunch of articles from your Mac, then read them while you're waiting in line on your iPhone. It's not as powerful as some App Store alternatives, but it's built right in, and that makes it incredibly convenient.
Shared Links are new to iOS 7. With them, you can see a list of all the links shared by everyone you follow on Twitter, all in one convenient place inside Safari. Think of it as a Reading List populated by people you find interesting. It's a great place to go if you have time and are looking for something serendipitous to read, but you have to know where to look if you want to find it.
If you have children with iPhones, iPod touches, or iPads, or who frequently use yours, and you want to control the type of content they can access when browsing the web in Safari, you're in luck - iOS 7 lets you do just that. Whether you want to try an automatically limit all adult content to prevent a child from accidentally hitting a link they shouldn't, blacklist specific websites, or shut off all sites except for the ones you specifically whitelist, you'll find everything you need right in Settings and Restrictions. Here's how to set up your parental controls!
The Do Not Track policy exists to prevent social networks, analytics, and online advertising from following you around the internet and recording your browsing patterns. Browsers that respect Do Not Track - like Apple's Safari - and websites that respect it, will allow you to surf the web in peace and privacy. Cookies - the way many sites and networks identify and track you - can likewise be blocked in several ways, including just those used by advertisers and third parties, and completely.
Whenever you visit a webpage using the Safari web browser, it gets recorded in you browser history so you can more easily go back and find that page again should you want to. Likewise, cookies get stored to persist things like logins and other information. If you don't want a particular page recorded in your history or cookies (we don't judge!) you can always use Private browsing mode. If you forget, however, iOS 7 lets you quickly and easily clear your history and cookies, and start over fresh and clean.
Safari, like all modern web browsers, caches data locally not only to speed up access to frequently visited sites, but to let data persist for web apps - including sites like gmail.com - so they can perform more like native apps. However, not only can the stored data build up over time, it can contain private information, or even reveal the names of websites you visit, that you might not want found on your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad (hey, we don't judge!). Luckily, iOS 7 lets you quickly and easily delete this information - once you know where to look!
If you have additional questions, or need some more help with Safari or iOS 7, check out the following resources!