Tip: Apple device users use it all the time
The Safari web browser is the default web browser for iPhone, iPad, and macOS, first released by Apple in 2003 and offered briefly on Windows from 2007 to 2012. The Safari browser’s popularity skyrocketed with the iPhone and iPad, and it currently has approximately a 54% market share of mobile browser usage in the United States.
In many ways, Safari is just like any other popular browser. Users can browse websites, bookmark and open multiple sites in tabs. Built on the WebKit engine, Safari was one of the first web browsers to support the new HTML 5 standard. It was also one of the first browsers to have Adobe Flash support disabled. by default, mobile versions of Safari that never supported Flash.
Safari on Mac OS is currently at version 11.1, which includes an update to Smart Tracking Prevention. This feature helps prevent a specific website from tracking page views on other websites, a process called “cross-site tracking.” Safari on iOS shares its version with the iOS version, which is currently at 12.1.
What makes Safari different from other web browsers?
While it might be hard for you to spot the differences between Google Chrome, Apple Safari, or Microsoft Edge at first glance, the Safari browser has a few key features that help set it apart from the rest, including the ability to format articles for easier reading.
- iCloud tabbed browsing. This feature automatically syncs open tabs across devices with the same iCloud account. You can see a list of all open tabs on your MacBook when you use Safari on iPhone or iPad. It’s similar to Chrome’s bookmark sharing, but doesn’t require a login.
- Share. The Safari app has a built-in share button that allows users to quickly share a website through messages, email, or social networks like Facebook or Twitter. The coolest feature is the ability to share a site directly with another nearby iPhone, iPad, or Mac using AirDrop.
- player view. Safari can detect articles and present them in a format that removes navigation and advertising in favor of a more readable view. This view is especially good for websites that load new windows when you scroll or become unreadable on an iPhone or iPad due to browsing.
- Low consumption. While iMacs are great desktop computers, Apple is primarily a provider of laptops and mobile devices. Safari proves this by being extremely energy efficient, saving you valuable minutes and sometimes even hours of extra usage compared to Chrome, Firefox, and other popular browsers.
What are the shortcomings of Safari?
The Safari web browser has a lot to offer, especially for those entrenched in the Apple ecosystem and owning a Mac with an iPhone or iPad. However, not everything is roses and butterflies:
- Limited plugin compatibility. Safari supports the extension, but the plugins available for Safari lag behind those available for Chrome.
- Apple Exclusive. Although it is possible to run Safari on Linux and was briefly supported on Windows, Safari is primarily a web browser designed to run on Apple hardware. You can’t run it on Android smartphones or tablets, and you should avoid the Windows version because Apple no longer supports it with critical security updates.
- no tab icon. Favicons are basically icons for websites. And while browsers like Google Chrome use these icons on tabs to differentiate between browser tabs and help the user choose which one they want, Safari doesn’t include them on tabs.
While Safari is the default browser for iOS and Mac, users can download a wide range of browsers on either platform. The Mac supports Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Vivaldi, and many other web browsers, while iPhone and iPad users can download Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and even Microsoft Edge.