10 Pro Tips: Safari for iPad & iPhone

pro tips for safari on ios

Once upon a time, I sat down to write a blog post about ten of the awesome features you can take advantage of in Safari for iPad & iPhone. 15,000 words later, it turned into a short ebook, but more on that later, because I feel like now is a good time to wind back the clock and finally finish the blog post that never got published. So, without further ado, here are 10 Pro Tips for Safari on iPad and iPhone.

1. Safari Reader – The web is often a cluttered, ad-filled space that is not always conducive to clarity. However, the Safari Reader makes all that go away and provides a distraction-free reading experience. When you see them, simply tap the four horizontal lines in the address bar to activate it, and then bask in the joy of simplicity. It’s a perfect feature to show your students.

2. Quick Scroll – If you have been scrolling through a long website and want a quick way to jump back to the top of the page, you can use the quick scroll feature. Simply double tap at the very top of Safari, (where the address bar used to be), and quick as a flash you will be back at the top of the page!

3. Reopen Closed Tabs – There is nothing more frustrating than closing a tab by mistake. However, there is a solution. Simply press and hold the new tab button, and select the website you just closed. Problem solved.

4. The iPad Split View – iPad users have an additional tab option that takes advantage of its larger screen size. It’s called Split View. It’s a feature that essentially allows you to split your browser into two halves and view multiple tabs side by side. Split view is a great option for comparing two websites at once, or for having two sets of research open at one time. Here’s three options for how to open a tab into Split View.

  • Touch and hold a link on a webpage and then choose Open in Split View.
  • Drag a tab off the tab bar and hover over the left or right-hand edge of your screen until Safari makes space for you to drop the tab in Split View.
  • Open a blank tab in Split View by touching and holding the Tabs button and then choosing Open Split View.


5. Safari Reading List – Read it later apps like Pocket and Instapaper are great, but if you do most of your reading on your iPhone or iPad, you can use the built-in service that is included Safari. Simply press and hold the bookmarks button and then tap Add to Reading List, to save an article for later. When you want to come back to it, tap the bookmarks button, tap the glasses icon, and then tap the article you want to read. The Safari Reading List is particularly useful when you consider you can also configure it to work offline.

6. Make a PDF of a Webpage – Sometimes it is useful to have a PDF version of a website. Safari can accomplish this task quickly and efficiently. Simply tap the Share arrow, scroll through the icons on the bottom row and select, Create PDF. Your converted webpage can then be annotated and shared according to your needs.

7. Listen to a website – We’re all busy people. So much so, that multitasking has become the new normal. If you haven’t got time to read a long blog post or article, you can have Safari read it to you. Simply go to Settings > Accessibility > Speech and turn on Speak Screen. Now all you have to do is swipe down with two fingers on an article you want read aloud. This is a great accommodation for struggling readers or those with visual impairments, and if you combine it with the Safari Reader, you have a powerful tool.

8. AutoFill Two Factor Codes – If you are like me, you have probably activated two-factor authentication on a lot of your most used online services. It means you get a text message every time you log in so that you can authenticate with an additional security method. It’s cumbersome, but that’s the price for some peace of mind.

iOS 12 makes it much easier by copying the code of incoming text messages and adding it to the top of the on-screen keyboard. Now all you need to do is tap in the text field and tap the code to paste it into the website. You don’t even need to leave Safari.

9. Rearrange the Share menu – The share menu is one of the features I use most in Safari, so I have it laid out just the way I want it. You can too. Simply press and hold on any of the icons to drag and drop them left or right to give them a new home on the Share sheet.

10. Turn on Favicons – A new, and long awaited, feature in iOS 12, is the ability to add favicons to your tabs. Not everyone wants these, but those that do can go to Settings > Safari > Show Icons in Tabs to turn them on.

These are just 10 of the awesome things you can do on Safari for iOS. If you are interested in learning more about these features, or feel like diving in deeper to see what else Safari can do for you, then take a look at the short ebook I listed on Amazon: Safari for iPad & iPhone. Learn more and read a sample at safaribook.net.

Safari for iPad & iPhone by Jonathan Wylie

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