Software

iOS 11 Safari productivity tips: Four hidden features you don't want to overlook

There are hidden features in iOS 11 that make browsing the web easier and more productive. We uncover the top iOS 11 Safari productivity tips.

Safari, the default web browser on your iPhone and iPad, packs a ton of features. In this iOS 11 how-to article, we reveal where to find hidden features and explain how they can improve your productivity while browsing the web.

SEE: Interview questions: iOS developer (TechPro Research)

How to save web pages for offline viewing

Apple has offered its Reading List functionality for many generations of iOS, but did you know that it has a secret feature? Items added to the Reading List can be viewed when your device is offline, giving you the ability to catch up on articles and webpages while flying or without a cellular or Wi-Fi connection.

To use this offline reading functionality, you need to make sure the feature is enabled, and then add items to your reading list.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Navigate to Safari, and then scroll down.
  3. Enable Reading List - Automatically Save Offline, if that option isn't already enabled.

With this option enabled, whenever you add an item to the Reading List in Safari, it will automatically download the content and make it available when your iOS device is offline.

To add an item to your Reading List, follow these steps.

  1. Open Safari.
  2. Navigate to a web page you'd like to save for offline viewing.
  3. Select the Share icon, and then select the Add To Reading List button (Figure A).

Figure A

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The Add To Reading List button appears in the second row of the share sheet on any web page. If the page has already been added a Remove button will appear instead.

How to reopen recently closed tabs

Sometimes when quickly browsing in Safari, you may accidentally close a tab. Without having to go back through your browsing history to retrieve the page that you were on, you can quickly restore the recently closed tab, along with the browsing history.

To use this feature, whenever a tab is accidentally closed, tap on the Tabs button in the Safari toolbar, and then tap and hold on the + button. After a second a modal dialog will appear titled Recently Closed Tabs ( Figure B). You will see a list of all the recently closed tabs in your current browsing session. To restore any of the tabs that appear, just tap them in the list and Safari will re-load the tab.

Figure B

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Tap a recently closed tab to restore it in Safari and continue browsing.

How to close all tabs at once

When you're doing a lot of browsing in Safari, you may occasionally find yourself with more tabs opened than you know what to do with. If you wish to quickly clean up Safari, you can easily close all opened tabs at once. To do this, with Safari opened, tap and hold on the Tabs button in the Safari toolbar ( Figure C).

Figure C

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Easily clean up your Safari browsing by closing all tabs at once using this quick tip.

When you do this, you'll see a sheet that appears to Close All Tabs, Close This Tab, New Private Tab, or New Tab. Tap the option for Close All Tabs, and Safari will clean itself up.

SEE: Top 20 Apple keyboard shortcuts for business users (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

How to use automatic Reader mode

Introduced in iOS 11, you can now automatically enable Safari's Reader functionality on particular websites so that whenever you visit the site, Reader mode will automatically open, providing a stripped-down view of the site where the content is laid out in an easy to read fashion.

To enable this on a per-site basis, navigate to a website that supports Reader mode, and tap and hold on the Reader button in the URL bar. A sheet will appear, letting you select between Use On 'x' Website or Use On All Websites ( Figure D). Make your selection, and Safari will remember your preference in the future.

Figure D

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Let Safari automatically enable Reader mode when viewing your favorite websites.

Also see

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Cory Bohon / TechRepublic

About Cory Bohon

Cory Bohon is an indie developer specializing in iOS and OS X development. He runs a software company called Cocoa App and is also a developer at MartianCraft. He was introduced to technology at an early age and has been writing about his favorite te...

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