Safari in iOS 6 will see some pretty significant updates, and it’s probably the native app I’m most looking forward to getting my hands on. Here’s a personal rundown of some of the new features we’ll see later this year: iCloud Tabs iCloud tabs were met with some skepticism during our WWDC Google Hangout, but […]
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Extra Safari Features in iOS 6

Safari in iOS 6 will see some pretty significant updates, and it’s probably the native app I’m most looking forward to getting my hands on. Here’s a personal rundown of some of the new features we’ll see later this year:

iCloud Tabs

iCloud tabs were met with some skepticism during our WWDC Google Hangout, but I think they’re a great idea. There are many times that I’ll load up my Reading List from my MacBook so that I can continue reading a forum thread from my iPhone. iCloud tabs should simplify this, as iCloud will passively save all of the open tabs across all of my devices. The only question is how quickly iCloud will handle all of this data – the Reading List was slow for the longest time, and only recently become a useful and reliable cloud feature.

Fullscreen Landscape Surfing (iPhone/iPod only)

Fullscreen makes sense to put on the iPhone, although I would have appreciated seeing it on the iPad, as well. It’s also interesting that Apple chose to implement this as a landscape-only feature, initiated by a tap in the bottom-right corner of the screen. I’ll reserve final judgement for when I get to try iOS 6, but I think this is a great little addition so far.

Offline Reading List

Between iCloud tabs and Instapaper, it might seem like I’d have fewer reasons to use Safari’s Reading List, were it not for the new offline functionality. Certain types of webpages, like forum threads, just don’t translate very well to Instapaper, and there are some very long stretches on the subway where I don’t have any access to data. The Reading List will likely shine in these situations. Here’s hoping it works well and updates itself in the background.

Uploading Pictures and Video

This one just feels like a no-brainer. This really should have been here in iOS 5 when Apple announced that the iPad was a post-PC device. There are still a number of things holding the iPad back from feeling like a “real” computer, but the ability to upload media from within the browser is no longer one of them.

I’m a little disappointed that Apple chose not to combine the address and search bar in iOS (as they did in Mountain Lion), but these new features should more than tide me over. It’s far from perfect, but Safari has become my browser of choice across all of my computing platforms. I love it on the Mac because of the excellent dynamic zoom and Reader functionality, and I love it on the iPhone and iPad because it’s the easiest way to sync bookmarks and reading material across devices. There are still many third-party app that make browsing more fun or responsive than Safari does…but no other set of apps is integrated so tightly across the iPhone, iPad, and Mac. That’s why I’m really excited to see how well Safari in iOS 6 and OS X Mountain Lion will play together this Fall.

 

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