The Web - The iPad Online - iPad: The Missing Manual (2014)

iPad: The Missing Manual (2014)

Part 3. The iPad Online

Chapter 12. The Web

The iPad’s Web browser is Safari, a version of the same one that comes on every iPhone and every Mac. It’s fast, simple to use, and very pretty indeed. In iOS 8, Safari gains a handful of slick new features (take a picture of your credit card, anyone?). Safari on the iPad is still not quite as good as surfing the Web on, you know, a laptop. But it’s getting closer.

Safari Tour

Safari has most of the features of a desktop Web browser: bookmarks, autocomplete (for Web addresses, account names, passwords, and credit cards), scrolling shortcuts, cookies, a pop-up ad blocker, password memorization, and so on. (It’s missing niceties like streaming music, Java, Flash, and other plug-ins.)


You don’t have to wait for a Web page to load entirely. You can zoom in, scroll, and begin reading the text even when only part of the page has appeared.

Now, don’t be freaked out: The main screen elements disappear shortly after you start reading a page. That’s supposed to give you more screen space to do your surfing. To bring them back, tap the Web site name at the top of the screen. Or scroll to the top, scroll to the bottom, or just scroll up a little. At that point, here are the controls, as they appear from the top left:

§ , (Back, Forward). Tap to revisit the page you were just on. Once you’ve tapped , you can then tap to return to the page you were on before you tapped the button.


Since these buttons disappear as soon as you scroll down a page, how are you supposed to move back and forward among pages?

By swiping in from outside the screen. Start your swipe on the edge of the iPad’s front glass and whisk inward. Swiping rightward like this means “back”; leftward means “forward again.” Do it slowly, and you can actually see the page sliding in.

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§ (Bookmarks). This button brings up your list of saved bookmarks—and much more. Here, too, are your History list, your Favorites, your Reading List, and links recommended by the people you follow on Twitter. You can read about these elements later in this chapter.

§ Search/address bar. In iOS, a single, unified box serves as both the address bar and the search bar at the top of the screen. (That’s the trend these days. Desktop-computer browsers like Chrome and Safari on the Mac work that way, too.)

This box is where you enter the URL (Web address) for a page you want to visit. (“URL” is short for the even-less-self-explanatory Uniform Resource Locator.) For example, if you type, tapping Go takes you to that Web site.

But this is also where you search the Web. If you type anything else, like cashmere sweaters or just amazon, tapping Go gives you the Google search results for that phrase.

In general, it’s handy to have a combined address bar/search bar. Unfortunately, it means that you can no longer leave off the .com when you’re typing an address—a longtime advantage of Safari’s smart address bar.


If you hold your finger down briefly on the standard keyboard’s period key, you get a pop-up palette of Web-address suffixes (.org, .edu, and so on). Luckily, .com starts out selected—so just release your finger to type it in. In other words, the entire process for typing in .com goes like this: Hold finger on period key; release.

§ (Reader view). In this delightful view, all the ads, boxes, banners, and other junk disappear. Only text and pictures remain, for your sanity-in-reading pleasure. See Reader View.

§ , (Stop, Reload). Tap to interrupt the downloading of a Web page you’ve just requested (if you’ve made a mistake, for instance, or if it’s taking too long).

Once a page has finished loading, the button turns into a (reload) button. Click it if a page doesn’t look or work quite right. Safari re-downloads the Web page and reinterprets its text and graphics.

§ (New tab). In iOS 8, Safari can open multiple Web pages in the form of tabs, just as on a Mac or PC. (You can see them in the picture on the facing page.) The button opens a new one.

§ (Share/Bookmark). When you’re on an especially useful page, tap this button. It offers every conceivable choice for commemorating the page: AirDrop, Mail, Message, Twitter, Facebook, Add Bookmark, Add to Reading List, Add to Home Screen, Copy, Print, and AirDrop. See The Share Sheet for details.

§ (Page Juggler). Safari can keep multiple Web pages open, just like any other browser. Manipulating Multiple Pages has the details.

Zooming and Scrolling

When you first open a Web page, you get to see the entire thing, so you can get the lay of the land.

At this point, of course, the type may be too small to read. So the next step is to magnify the part of the page you want to read.

The iPad offers three ways to do that:

§ Rotate the iPad. Turn the device 90 degrees in either direction. The iPad rotates and magnifies the image to fill the wider view. Often, this simple act is enough to make tiny type big enough to read.

§ Do the two-finger spread. Put two fingers on the glass and slide them apart. The Web page stretches before your very eyes, growing larger. Then you can pinch to shrink the page back down again. (Most people do several spreads or several pinches in a row to achieve the degree of zoom they want.)

§ Double-tap. When you double-tap a block of text, Safari magnifies it, usually just enough to read easily. Double-tap again to zoom back out.

Once you’ve zoomed out to the proper degree, you can then scroll around the page by dragging or flicking with a finger. You don’t have to worry about “clicking a link” by accident; if your finger’s in motion, Safari ignores the tapping action, even if you happen to land on a link.


Once you’ve double-tapped to zoom in on a page, you can use this little-known trick: Double-tap anywhere on the upper half of the screen to scroll up or the lower half to scroll down. The closer you are to the top or bottom of the screen, the more you scroll.

Full-Screen Mode

On an iPad, the screen is pretty small to begin with; most people would rather dedicate that space to showing more Web.

So in iOS, Safari enters full-screen mode the instant you start to scroll down a page. In full-screen mode, all the controls and toolbars vanish. Now the entire iPad screen is filled with Web goodness, as shown on these pages.

You can bring the controls back in any of these ways:

§ Scroll up a little bit.

§ Return to the top or bottom of a Web page.

§ Tap the top strip.

§ Navigate to a different page.

And enjoy Safari’s dedication to trying to get out of your way.

Typing a Web Address

As on a computer, this Web browser offers several tools for navigating the Web: the address bar, bookmarks, the History list, and good old link-tapping. These pages cover each of these methods in turn, along with the Reading List and Web Clips.

The address/search bar is the strip at the top of the screen where you type in a Web page’s address. And it so happens that five of the iPad’s greatest tips and shortcuts all have to do with this important navigational tool:

§ Your favorites await. When you tap in the address bar or open a new tab, the icons of your bookmarked sites appear, to save you time.

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§ Insta-scroll to the top. You can jump directly to the address bar, no matter how far down a page you’ve scrolled, just by tapping the very top edge of the screen (the status bar).

§ Don’t delete. There is a button at the right end of the address bar whose purpose is to erase the current address so you can type another one. (Tap inside the address bar to make it, and the keyboard, appear.) But the button is for suckers.

Instead, whenever the address bar is open for typing, just type. Forget that there’s already a URL there. The iPad is smart enough to figure out that you want to replace that Web address with a new one.

§ Don’t type http://www. You can leave that stuff out; Safari will supply it automatically. Instead of, for example, just type (or tap its name in the suggestions list) and hit Go.

§ Type .com, .net, .org, or .edu the easy way. Safari’s canned URL choices can save you four keyboard taps apiece. To see their secret menu, hold your finger down on the period key on the standard keyboard (previous page). Then tap the common suffix you want. (Or, if you want .com, just release your finger without moving it.)

Otherwise, this address bar works just like the one in any other Web browser. Tap inside it to make the keyboard appear.

Tap the blue Go key when you’re finished typing the address. That’s your Enter key. (Or tap Cancel to hide the keyboard without “pressing Enter.”)

Searching in Safari

The address bar is also the search box. Just tap into it and type your search phrase (or speak it, using Siri).

To save you time and fiddling, Safari instantly produces a drop-down menu filled with suggestions that could spare you some typing—things it guesses you might be looking for. If you see the address you’re trying to type, then by all means tap it instead of typing out the rest of the URL. The time you save could be your own:

§ Top Hits. The Top Hits are Safari’s best guesses at what you’re looking for. They’re the sites on your bookmarks and History lists that you’ve visited most often (and that match what you’ve typed so far).

Try tapping one of the Top Hits sometime. You’ll discover, to your amazement, that that site appears almost instantly. It doesn’t seem to have to load. That’s because, as a favor to you, Safari quietly downloads the Top Hits in the background, while you’re still entering your search term, all to save you time.


If you’re concerned that this feature is sucking down some of your monthly cellular data allowance unnecessarily, you can turn it off in SettingsSafariPreload Top Hit.

§ Google Search. The next category of suggestions: a list of search terms you might be typing, based on how popular those searches are on Google (or whatever search service you’re using). For example, if you type chick, this section proposes things like chicken recipes, chick fil a, andchicken pox. It’s just trying to save you a little typing; if none of these tappable choices is the one you want, then ignore them and continue typing.


You can turn this feature off, too, if it makes you feel spied upon. (Behind the scenes, it’s transmitting your search term to Apple.) You do that in SettingsSafariSearch Engine Suggestions.

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§ Bookmarks and History. Here Safari offers matching selections from Web sites you’ve bookmarked or recently visited. Again, it’s trying to save you typing if it can.

§ On This Page. Here’s how you search for certain text on the page you’re reading.

Once you’ve started typing, under the On This Page heading, you see a listing called Find “chick” (or whatever you’ve typed so far), shown on the facing page at left. Tap that line to jump to the first appearance of that text on the page; then use the and buttons at the bottom to jump from one match to the next. Tap Done to return to your regularly scheduled browsing.


Suppose you’ve started typing a search term. Safari pipes up with its usual list of suggestions. At this point, if you drag up or down the screen, you hide the keyboard—so you can see the suggestions that were hidden behind it.

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Now then. If, among all of these Safari labor-saving suggestions, you don’t see what you’re looking for, then maybe you really do have to search the Web. Tap the big blue Go button in the corner.

You can tell the iPad to use a Yahoo, Bing, or DuckDuckGo search instead of Google, if you like. From the Home screen, tap SettingsSafariSearch Engine. (DuckDuckGo, a new option in iOS 8, is a search service dedicated to your privacy. It doesn’t store your searches or tailor the results to you. On the other hand, it’s capable of searching only about 50 Web sources—Wikipedia, Wolfram Alpha, and so on.)


If you’ve set your search options to use Google, there are all kinds of cool things you can type here—special terms that tell Google, “I want information, not Web page matches.”

You can type a movie name and Zip code or city/state (Titanic Returns 10024) to get a list of today’s showtimes in theaters near you. Get the forecast by typing weather chicago or weather 60609. Stock quotes: Type the symbol (AMZN). Dictionary definitions: define schadenfreude. Unit conversions: liters in 5 gallons. Currency conversions: 25 usd in euros. Then tap Go to get instant results.

Quick Website Search

This crazy, not fully baked feature, new in iOS 8, lets you search within a certain site (like Amazon or Reddit or Wikipedia) using only Safari’s regular search bar. For example, typing wiki mollusk can search Wikipedia for its entry on mollusks. Typing amazon ipad can offer links to buy an iPad from Amazon. Typing reddit sitcoms opens to its search results for sitcoms.

None of this will work, however, until (a) you’ve turned the feature on (SettingsSafariQuick Website Search), and (b) you’ve manually taught Safari how to search those sites one time each.

To do that, pull up the site you want to search (let’s say it’s and use its regular search bar. Search for anything.

That site’s name now appears in the list at SettingsSafariQuick Website Search. (Sometimes. Many sites don’t work with Quick Website Search.) From now on, you can search that site by typing, for example, reddit sitcoms. You’ll jump directly to that site’s search results.


Bookmarks, of course, are Web sites you might want to visit again without having to remember and type their URLs.

To see the list of bookmarks on your iPad, tap at the top of the screen. You see the master list of bookmarks (next page, left). They’re organized in folders, or even folders within folders.

Tapping a folder shows you what’s inside (next page, right), and tapping a bookmark begins opening the corresponding Web site.


Actually, what you see when you tap are three tabs at the top: (Bookmarks), (Reading List), and Twitter links and RSS feeds). The latter two are described later in this chapter.

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You might be surprised to discover that Safari already seems to be prestocked with bookmarks—that, amazingly, are interesting and useful to you in particular! How did it know?

Easy—it copied your existing desktop computer’s browser bookmarks from Internet Explorer (Windows) or Safari (Mac) when you synced the iPad (Chapter 14), or when you turned on Safari syncing through iCloud. Sneaky, eh?

Creating New Bookmarks

You can add new bookmarks right on the iPad. Any work you do here is copied back to your computer the next time you sync the two machines—or instantaneously, if you’ve turned on iCloud bookmark syncing.

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When you find a Web page you might like to visit again, tap to reveal the options shown at left (facing page); then tap Add Bookmark. The Add Bookmark screen appears (right).

You have two tasks here:

§ Type a better name. In the top box, you can type a shorter or clearer name for the page. Instead of “Bass, Trout & Tackle—the Web’s Premier Resource for the Avid Outdoorsman,” you can just call it “Fish.”

The box below this one identifies the underlying URL, which is independent of what you’ve named your bookmark. You can’t edit this one.

§ Specify where to file this bookmark. If you tap Favorites >, you open Safari’s hierarchical list of bookmark folders, which organize your bookmarked sites. Tap the folder where you want to file the new bookmark so you’ll know where to find it later.


You can specify which folder you want Safari to propose when you save a new bookmark—handy if you have a lot of those folders. You set that up in SettingsSafariFavorites.

Editing Bookmarks and Folders

It’s easy enough to massage your Bookmarks list within Safari—to delete favorites that aren’t so favorite anymore, to make new folders, to rearrange the list, to rename a folder or a bookmark, and so on.

The techniques are the same for editing bookmark folders as editing the bookmarks themselves—after the first step. To edit the folder list, start by opening the Bookmarks (tap ), and then tap Edit.

To edit the bookmarks themselves, tap , tap a folder, and then tap Edit. Now you can get organized:

§ Delete something. Tap next to a folder or a bookmark, and then tap Delete to confirm.

§ Rearrange the list. Drag the grip strip () up or down in the list to move the folders or bookmarks around. (You can’t move or delete the top two folders—Favorites and History.)

§ Edit a name and location. Tap a folder or a bookmark name. If you tap a folder, you arrive at the Edit Folder screen; you can edit the folder’s name and which folder it’s inside of. If you tap a bookmark, Edit Bookmark lets you edit the name and the URL it points to.

Tap Done when you’re finished.

§ Create a folder. Tap New Folder in the lower-left corner of the Edit Folders screen. You’re offered the chance to type a name for it and to specify where you want to file it (that is, in which other folder).

Tap Done when you’re finished.

The Reading List

The Reading List is a handy list of Web pages you want to read later. Unlike a bookmark, it stores entire pages, so you can read them later even when you don’t have an Internet connection (on the subway or on a plane, for example).

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The Reading List also keeps track of what you’ve read. You can use the Show All/Show Unread button at the bottom of the panel to view everything—or just what you haven’t yet read.


To make matters even sweeter, iCloud synchronizes your Reading List with your Mac, iPhone, and so on—as long as you’ve turned on bookmark syncing. It’s as though the Web always keeps your place.

To add a page to the Reading List, tap and then tap Add to Reading List.

Once you’ve added a page to the Reading List, you can get to it by tapping and then tapping the Reading List tab at the top (). Tap an item on your list to open and read it.


When you get to the bottom of a Reading List item, keep scrolling down. The iPad is nice enough to offer up the next article in your Reading List, as though they were all vertically connected.

Shared Links ()

There’s a third tab button on the Bookmarks screen, too: . It’s the Shared Links button. It lists every tweet from Twitter that contains a link. The idea is to make it easier for you to explore sites that your Twitter friends are recommending; all their Web finds are collected in one place.


In Safari, “shared links” has another meaning, too: The makes it easy to share the URL of a particularly juicy Web page. On the Share sheet, you get the usual set of links: Copy, Mail, Message (to send by text message), Twitter, Facebook, and so on. But remember that iOS 8 is extensible. Depending on the apps you’ve installed, you may see all kinds of other share-this-link options on this screen.

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RSS Subscriptions

At the bottom of the Shared Links () tab, iOS 8 offers a new button called Subscriptions. It’s a reference to RSS feeds, which are something like subscriptions to Web sites. You don’t have to remember to go visit your favorite blogs or news sites; notification blurbs about their newly posted articles come to you.

Here’s the procedure:

1. In Safari, open a site that offers an RSS feed. News sites of all kinds offer RSS feeds (,,,, and so on).

2. Subscribe to it. To do that, tap , then , then Subscriptions, and then Add Current Site (previous page, left).

3. Read. When you want to see what’s new, tap , then . That’s right: Blurbs representing newly posted stories appear on the tab (previous page, right), mixed in with all your Twitter links. That’s not ideal, especially if there are hundreds of Twitter links—but at least you’ll never be without a place to check for interesting stuff to read.

To delete a subscription, tap , then , then Subscriptions; tap next to the subscription’s name, and confirm by tapping Delete.

Web Clips

If there’s a certain Web site you visit all the time, like every day, then even the four taps necessary to open it in the usual way (Home, Safari, Bookmarks, your site’s name) can seem like a lot of red tape. That’s why Apple made it simple to add the icon of a certain Web page right to your Home screen. It’s a shortcut that Apple calls a Web clip.

Start by opening the page in question. Tap at the top of the screen. In the button list, tap Add to Home Screen. Now you’re offered the chance to edit the icon’s name; finally, tap Add.

When you return to your Home screen, you see the new icon. You’ve just added a bookmark to your Home screen. (You move or delete this icon exactly as you would any app.)


You can turn part of a Web page into one of these Web clips, too. You might want quick access to The New York Times’ “Most emailed” list, or the bestselling children’s books on Amazon, or the most-viewed video on YouTube, or the box scores for a certain sports league.

All you have to do is zoom and scroll the page in Safari before you tap , isolating the section you want. Later, when you open the Web clip, you’ll see exactly the part of the Web page you wanted.

The History List

Behind the scenes, Safari keeps track of the Web sites you’ve visited in the past week or so, neatly organized into subfolders like This Evening and Yesterday. It’s a great feature when you can’t recall the address for a Web site you visited recently—or when you remember it had a long, complicated address and you get the psychiatric condition known as iPad Keyboard Dread.

To see the list of recent sites, tap ; then, on the tab, tap History, whose icon bears a to make sure you know it’s special. Once the History list appears, just tap a bookmark to revisit that Web page.

Erasing the History List

Some people find it creepy that Safari maintains a complete list of every Web site they’ve seen recently, right there in plain view of any family member or coworker who wanders by. They’d just as soon their wife/husband/boss/parent/kid not know what Web sites they’ve been visiting.

You can delete just one particularly incriminating History listing easily enough; swipe leftward across its name and then tap Delete. Or you can delete the entire History menu, thus erasing all your tracks. To do that, tap Clear; confirm by tapping Clear History. You can also clear only the names of the sites you’ve seen in the past hour, today, or today and yesterday.

You’ve just rewritten History.

Tapping Links

On the iPad, not all links take you to other Web pages. If you tap an email address, it opens up the Mail app (Chapter 13) and creates a preaddressed outgoing message. There’s even such a thing as a map link, which opens the Maps app.

Each of these links, in other words, takes you out of Safari. If you want to return to your Web browsing, then you have to return to the Home screen, or the app switcher, and tap Safari. The page you had open is still there, waiting.


If you hold your finger on a link for a moment—touching rather than tapping—a handy panel appears (above). At the top, you see the full Web address that link will open. And there are some useful buttons: Open, Open in New Tab, Add to Reading List, and Copy (meaning “copy the link address”).

Saving Graphics

If you find a picture online that you wish you could keep forever, you have two choices. You could stare at it until you’ve memorized it, or you could save it.

To do that, touch the image for about a second. A sheet appears, just like the one that appears when you hold your finger down on a regular link.

If you tap Save Image, then the iPad thoughtfully deposits a copy of the image in your Camera Roll, so it will get backed up and copied to your Mac or PC. If you tap Copy, then you nab a link to that graphic, which you can now paste into another program.

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Saved Passwords and Credit Cards

On desktop Web browsers, a feature called AutoFill saves you an awful lot of typing. It fills out your name and address automatically when you’re ordering something online. It stores your passwords so you don’t have to re-enter them every time you visit passworded sites.

But on the iPad, where you’re typing on glass, the convenience of AutoFill goes to a whole new level.

And in iOS, there’s a whole new level above that level. The iPad can memorize your credit card information, too, making it much easier to buy stuff online; in fact, it can even store this information by taking a picture of your credit card.

And thanks to iCloud syncing, all those passwords and credit cards can auto-store themselves on all your other Apple gadgetry.

To turn on AutoFill, visit SettingsSafariPasswords & AutoFill. Here’s what you find (previous page, top):

§ Use Contact Info. Turn this On. Then tap My Info. From the address book, find your own listing. You’ve just told Safari which name, address, city, state, Zip code, and phone number belong to you.

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From now on, whenever you’re asked to input your address, phone number, and so on, you’ll see an AutoFill button at the top of the keyboard. Tap it to make Safari auto-enter all those details, saving you no end of typing. (It works on most sites.) If there are extra blanks that AutoFill doesn’t fill, then you can tap the Previous and Next buttons to move your cursor from one to the next instead of tapping and scrolling manually.

§ Names & Passwords lets Safari fill in your user name and passwords when you visit sites that require you to log in (Google, Amazon, and so on). On each Web site, you’ll be able to choose Yes (a good idea for your PTA or library account), Never for this Website (a good idea for your bank), or Not Now (you’ll be asked again next time).

You can also tap Saved Passwords to view a list of the memorized names and passwords—after entering your iPad password.


On this screen, you can delete saved passwords. Swipe leftward across the login that no longer pleases you, and then tap Delete.

§ Credit Cards. Turn on Credit Cards, of course, if you’d like Safari to memorize your charge card info. To enter your card details, tap Saved Credit Cards (where you see a list of them) and then Add Credit Card. You can type in your name, card number, expiration date, and a description—or you can save yourself a little tedium by tapping Use Camera. Aim the camera at your credit card until you see its long number magically recognized, as you can see here. (You still have to enter your name and the card expiration manually.)

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When you buy something online, iOS offers an Autofill Credit Card button. When you tap it, Safari asks you first which credit card you want to use, if you’ve stored more than one (it displays the last four digits for your reference). Tap it, and boom: Safari cheerfully fills in the credit card information, saving you time and hassle.

Unfortunately, there’s nowhere to store the little three- or four-digit security code, sometimes called the CSC, CVV, or CV2 code. Safari makes no attempt to fill that in; you always have to enter it manually.

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That’s one last safeguard against a kid, a spouse, a parent, or a thief using your iPad for an online shopping spree when you’re not around.


Once you’ve stored all of these passwords and credit cards, it sure would be nice if you didn’t have to enter them into other Apple gadgets, wouldn’t it? Your Mac, your iPhone, and so on?

Fortunately, the iCloud service can synchronize this information to Safari running on other Apple machines. iCloud Sync has the details.

Manipulating Multiple Pages

Like any other self-respecting browser, Safari can keep multiple pages open at once, making it easy for you to switch among them. You can think of it as a miniature version of tabbed browsing, a feature of browsers like Safari Senior, Firefox, Chrome, and Internet Explorer. Tabbed browsing keeps a bunch of Web pages open simultaneously.

One advantage of this arrangement is that you can start reading one Web page while the others load into their own tabs in the background.

To Open a New Window

Tap the button at top right.

You now arrive at the Favorites page (below). Here are icons for all the sites you’ve designated as Favorites. Tap to open one. Or, in the address bar, enter an address. Or use a bookmark. (More on Favorites in a moment.)


Alternatively, hold your finger down on a link instead of tapping it. You get a choice of three commands, one of which is Open in New Page.

Sometimes Safari sprouts a new window automatically when you click a link. That’s because the link you tapped is programmed to open in a new window. To return to the original window, read on.

To Switch among Windows

Tap at top right. Now you see something like the thumbnail pages shown here. These, of course, are all your open windows. You work with them like this:

§ Close a window by tapping the in the corner—or by swiping a page away to the left. It slides away into the void; the only thing missing is a falling sound effect like, “Oh noooooooooooooo!”

§ Rearrange these windows by dragging them up or down with your finger. (Pause briefly with your finger down before moving it.)

§ Open a window to full screen by tapping it.

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You can open a third window, and a fourth, and so on, and jump among them, using these two techniques.

iCloud Tabs

The iPad can auto-open whatever browser windows and tabs you had open on another Apple gadget, like a Mac or an iPhone. Thanks to the miracle of iCloud syncing, the last windows and tabs you had open on that other gadget (even if the gadget is turned off) show up here.

The concept is to unify your Macs and i-gadgets into one glorious, seamless Web-browsing experience. You’re reading three browser windows and tabs on your iPad—why not resume on a bigger screen when you get home and sit down in front of your Mac?

You won’t see these tabs unless the Macs have OS X Mountain Lion or later. And, of course, Safari has to be turned on in System PreferencesiCloud on the Mac, or SettingsiCloud on the iPad or tablet.

To see these tabs, tap to open your view of open Safari window thumbnails. Scroll to the bottom (facing page). There they are: your iCloud tabs, sorted into headings that correspond to your other Apple gadgets. Tap to open.

The Favorites Page

You can never close all your Safari windows. The app will never let you get past the final page: the Favorites page (facing page).

This is the new starting point. It’s what you first see when you tap the button. It’s like a page of visual bookmarks.

In fact, if you see a bunch of icons here already, it’s because your iPad has synced them over from Safari on a Mac; whatever sites are on your Bookmarks bar become icons on this bookmark page.

You can edit this Favorites page, of course:

§ Rearrange them as you would Home screen icons. That is, hold your finger down on an icon momentarily and then drag it to a new spot.

§ Remove or rename a Favorites icon. Favorites are just bookmarks. So you can edit, move, or delete them just as you would any bookmark. (Tap to open your Bookmarks screen. Make sure that you’re on the tab, so that your list of folders is showing. Tap Favorites, then Edit. Tap for a site you want to delete, and then tap Delete.)


You can create folders inside the Favorites folder, too. Whenever the Favorites screen appears, you’ll see these subfolders listed as further sources of speed-dial Web sites.

§ Add a Favorites icon. When you find a page you’d like to add to the Favorites screen, tap . On the Share sheet, tap Add Bookmark. The iPad usually proposes putting the new bookmark into the Favorites folder, which means that it will show up on the Favorites screen. (If it proposes some other folder on the Location line, then tap the folder’s name and then tap Favorites.) Tap Save.


It’s worth noting, by the way, that you don’t have to use the Favorites folder of bookmarks as the one whose contents appear on the Favorites screen. In SettingsSafariFavorites, a list of all your Bookmarks folders appears. Whichever one you select there becomes your new Favorites folder, even if its name isn’t “Favorites.”

Reader View

How can people read Web articles when there’s Times Square blinking all around them? Fortunately, you’ll never have to put up with that again.

The Reader button in the address bar () is amazing. With one tap, it eliminates everything from the page you’re reading except the text and photos. No ads, toolbars, blinking, links, banners, promos, or anything else.

The text is also changed to a clean, clear font and size, and the background is made plain white. Basically, it makes any Web page look like a printed book page, and it’s glorious. Shown here: the before and after. Which looks easier to read?

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To exit Reader, tap again. Best. Feature. Ever.

The fine print: Reader doesn’t appear until the page has fully loaded. It doesn’t appear on “front page” pages, like the home page—only when you’ve opened an article within. It may not appear on sites that are already specially designed for access by mobile gadgets, as described next.

Open the Full Site

In an effort to conserve time and bandwidth (yours and theirs), many Web sites supply mobile versions to tablets and phones—smaller, stripped-down sites that transfer faster than (but lack some features of) the full-blown sites. You generally have no control over which version you’re sent.

Until now. Suppose you’re in Safari, and some site has dished up its mobile version, and you’re gnashing your teeth. Tap in the address box, and then swipe downward anywhere on the page. Tap Request Desktop Site. As you’ve requested, the full-blown desktop version of that site now appears.

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Web Security

Safari on the iPad isn’t meant to be a full-blown Web browser like the one on your desktop computer, but it comes surprisingly close—especially when it comes to privacy and security. Cookies, pop-up blockers, parental controls—they’re all here, for your paranoid pleasure.

Pop-Up Blocker

The world’s smarmiest advertisers like to inundate us with pop-up and pop-under ads—nasty little windows that appear in front of the browser window, or, worse, behind it, waiting to jump out the moment you close your window. Fortunately, Safari comes set to block those pop-ups so you don’t see them. It’s a war out there—but at least you now have some ammunition.

The thing is, though, pop-ups are sometimes useful (and not ads)—notices of new banking features, seating charts on ticket-sales sites, warnings that the instructions for using a site have changed, and so on. Safari can’t tell these from ads—and it stifles them, too. So if a site you trust says “Please turn off pop-up blockers and reload this page,” then you know you’re probably missing out on a useful pop-up message.

In those situations, you can turn off the pop-up blocker. The on/off switch is in SettingsSafari.

Password Suggestions

When you’re signing up for a new account on some Web site, and you tap inside the box where you’re supposed to make up a password, Safari offers to make up a password for you. It’s a doozy, too, along the lines of 23k2k4-29cs8-58384-ckk3322.

Now, don’t freak out. You’re not expected to remember that. Safari will, of course, memorize it for you (and sync it to your other Apple computers, if they’re on the same iCloud account). Meanwhile, you’ve got yourself a unique, nearly uncrackable password.


Cookies are something like Web page preference files. Certain Web sites—particularly commercial ones like—deposit them on your hard drive like little bookmarks so they’ll remember you the next time you visit. Ever notice how Amazon greets you with, “Welcome, Chris” (or whatever your name is)? It’s reading its own cookie, left behind on your hard drive (or in this case, on your iPad).

Most cookies are perfectly innocuous—and, in fact, are extremely useful, because they help Web sites remember your tastes. Cookies also spare you the effort of having to type in your name, address, and so on every time you visit these Web sites.

But fear is widespread, and the media fan the flames with tales of sinister cookies that track your movement on the Web. If you’re worried about invasions of privacy, Safari is ready to protect you.

From the Home screen, tap SettingsSafariBlock Cookies. The options here are like a paranoia gauge. If you click Always Block, you create an acrylic shield around your iPad. No cookies can come in, and no cookie information can go out. You’ll probably find the Web a very inconvenient place; you’ll have to re-enter your information upon every visit, and some Web sites may not work properly at all. The Always Allow option means “Oh, what the heck—just gimme all of them.”

A good compromise is Allow from Websites I visit, which accepts cookies from sites you want to visit, but blocks cookies deposited on your iPad by sites you’re not actually visiting—cookies an especially evil banner ad gives you, for example.

The SettingsSafari screen also offers a Clear History and Website Data button. It deletes all the cookies you’ve accumulated so far, your browsing history, and your iPad’s cache.

The cache is a patch of the iPad’s storage area where pieces of Web pages you visit—graphics, for example—are retained. The idea is that the next time you visit the same page, the iPad won’t have to download those bits again. It already has them on board, so the page appears much faster.

If you worry that your cache eats up space, poses a security risk, or is confusing some page (and preventing the most recent version of the page from appearing), then tap Clear History and Website Data to erase it and start over.

Private Browsing

Private browsing lets you surf without adding any pages to your History list, searches to your Google search suggestions, passwords to Safari’s saved password list, or autofill entries to Safari’s memory. You might want to turn on private browsing before you start visiting Web sites that would raise interesting questions with your spouse, parents, or boss.

When you want to start leaving no tracks, tap to open the page-juggler screen; tap Private at the top-right corner.

Safari now points out that you’re in Private mode. Tap to open a new page, and proceed as usual. From now on, Safari records nothing while you surf; the status bar at the top of the screen stays dark to remind you.

When you’re ready to browse “publicly” again, turn private browsing off once more (tap , then tap Private to turn it off). Safari resumes taking note of the pages you visit—but it never remembers the ones you opened while in Private mode.

In other words, what happens in private browsing stays in private browsing.

Parental Controls

If your child (or employee) is old enough to have an iPad but not old enough for the seedier side of the Web, then don’t miss the Restrictions feature in Settings. The iPad makes no attempt to separate the good Web sites from the bad—but it can remove the Safari icon from the iPad altogether so that no Web browsing is possible at all. See Restrictions and Parental Controls for instructions.