Safari 5 review

We take a look at Apple's latest browser to see what Safari 5 has to offer users.

Safari logo

Safari 5 was unmentioned in Steve Jobs' opening keynote address at the Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, which focused solely on iPhone OS 4.0, Apple's newly rechristened mobile platform.

Nonetheless, a few hours later Apple pushed out the latest version of its web browser with little fanfare. Surprisingly so, because even though Safari 5 plays catch-up with other browsers by finally introducing a proper framework for extensions to add new functionality, and marks yet another round of tireless muscle flexing performance statistics, there is one new feature that makes this update worth checking out.

Advertisement - Article continues below

That feature is called Reader and it's intended to make longer articles on the web a more comfortable and convenient experience. Once a page has finished loading, Safari tries to identify the portion of the page that brought you there - the real content amongst the chaff of ads and navigation. Part of its decision is based on the length of the longest flowing portion of text. Exceptionally short news items can escape its gaze, but for content that's worth the pixels they occupy, Reader does a good job of picking it up.

If it's successful, a button appears at the right side of the address bar that when pressed dims the normal page layout. The article appears in a layer on top of it, reformatted in a plainer serif font that's fairly easy on the eye. It retains pull-quotes, box outs and other illustrative material and flows the body of the article around them, so that you don't miss essential information that complements the thrust of the body copy.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

Roll the pointer over the bottom of the page and a toolbar fades in, with controls to adjust the text size, email the article (along with a link to the original) and print it. The text size is a persistent setting, so you won't need to fiddle once you've found a comfortable size for your eyesight, but that's the limit of customisation. There's no way to change other attributes - neither the font used nor the line spacing. To our eyes Apple has done a decent job of picking the settings, but the opportunity to tailor them would have been useful, if only to get away from the harshness of black text on a white background.

Featured Resources

Top 5 challenges of migrating applications to the cloud

Explore how VMware Cloud on AWS helps to address common cloud migration challenges

Download now

3 reasons why now is the time to rethink your network

Changing requirements call for new solutions

Download now

All-flash buyer’s guide

Tips for evaluating Solid-State Arrays

Download now

Enabling enterprise machine and deep learning with intelligent storage

The power of AI can only be realised through efficient and performant delivery of data

Download now

Most Popular

Visit/software/video-conferencing/355138/zoom-beaming-ios-user-data-to-facebook-for-targeted-ads
video conferencing

Zoom beams iOS user data to Facebook for targeted ads

27 Mar 2020
Visit/infrastructure/server-storage/355118/hpe-warns-of-critical-bug-that-destroys-ssds-after-40000-hours
Server & storage

HPE warns of 'critical' bug that destroys SSDs after 40,000 hours

26 Mar 2020
Visit/software/355113/companies-offering-free-software-to-fight-covid-19
Software

These are the companies offering free software during the coronavirus crisis

25 Mar 2020
Visit/mobile/mobile-phones/355088/apple-lifts-iphone-purchase-restrictions
Mobile Phones

Apple lifts iPhone purchase restrictions

23 Mar 2020