7 Ways Apple Is Changing How You Browse the Web on Your iPad and iPhone

Apple is rolling out some new features for its Safari browser that will improve your overall browsing experience.
John Loeffler

If you have an iPad or an iPhone, you know that there are other browsers available on the App store for you to use, but you also know that Safari is easier than the others to use. Apple's built-in browser runs faster and is more intuitive on your Apple devices then Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome, but it's not without its drawbacks. With the new release of Safari 13 however, there's are several changes coming that will make your Safari browsing experience on iPad and iPhone even better.

Desktop-Class Browsing

There has always been a certain amount of frustration with the iPad when browsing because it inevitably defaults to using the mobile version of a site even though the iPad is more than wide enough to accommodate a desktop site. This is particularly frustrating when using sites like Google Docs since for many people; they like to link up a Bluetooth keyboard and work on their iPad as a desktop computer.


Fortunately, with the forthcoming Safari 13 update, the iPad will start defaulting to the desktop versions of websites without your needing to do anything, making the user experience of these sites on the iPad much, much better.

Download Manager

Probably the one change that most people are going to notice immediately with the Safari 13 update will be the ease with which they can download files through Safari. Previously, you'd have to have an app on your device that could open the particular file before you could open the file. There was no saving it to disk like you'd have with other browsers.

With Safari 13, however, the browser comes with a built-in download manager that adds a folder to your iCloud Drive called downloads. Whatever Safari 13 downloads will be saved there for later access. You can also change the download location via the app settings to save to your dropbox or other storage location.

Best of all, you don't need to keep Safari open while the download is in progress, as it will download in the background while you do other things on your device.

Website Settings

Safari 13 moves some of the earlier functionality of the browser, such as requesting the desktop version of a site or activating content blockers, to a new button on the browser. Located on the address bar, the 'Aa' button includes those options as well as a website settings option where individual settings for a website can be configured. These include access permissions to the camera, microphone, etc, whether to automatically request the desktop version of the webpage, among others. 

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Since the user experience of any given webpage will vary, having the option of customizing it based on individual domains is especially helpful.

Auto-Close Unused Tabs

Another big addition is the inclusion of the Auto-Close Unused Tabs functionality. Having a bunch of tabs open in any browser is going to annihilate whatever memory resources you have. Safari opens up a new tab whenever you reopen safari, so over time, the unused tabs just sit in the background, hogging up resources. This is helpful if you need to go back to a tab later, but it can lead to weeks worth of tabs being open and not doing anything.

When you first close out older tabs in Safari 13, it will as you to set a limit on how long it should keep older tabs open. By setting a limit, you get the best of both worlds in that you can hold on to older tabs if you need them, but not for too long so that they choke off your available resources.

Dark Mode

Dark Mode is one of the most anticipated features of the upcoming iOS 13 update and Safari 13 will stand to benefit considerably from this. Most web content is text based, and it's long been known that white text on a black background leads to less eye strain, uses less power, and automatically makes you look cooler than everyone else.

Websites will be able to set up Dark Mode versions of their sites, which many of the most popular sites are already in the process of doing. By the time Safari 13 is released, most, if not all, of your favorite websites will have a Dark Mode setting ready to go.

Better Memory Management

Behind the screen, there are a lot of changes coming in the Safari 13 update that will make the user experience more enjoyable. The biggest of these will be better memory management. Safari 13 will reduce the initial rendering time for webpages overall, reduce the amount of memory used by JavaScript across-the-board, not just for web-based clients, and boost their MotionMark graphics performance benchmark by up to 10%. 

These should add up to a considerably quicker web browsing experience overall, which is always a major plus for any browser.

More Secure Browsing

Probably the biggest feature update in Safari 13 will be the 'Sign-In with Apple' functionality. Much like 'Sign-In with Google' or 'Sign-In with Facebook', 'Sign-In with Apple' will make signing into websites and apps a one-click process, only 'Sign-In with Apple' promises that it won't be tracking your behavior in order to sell your data to others.

Apple is carving out a space for itself as a privacy-centered platform in a way that Facebook is pretending to but could never actually carry out. This is largely out of necessity, since Apple never made gathering your data a goal early on, they are now so far behind Google and Facebook that they could never catch-up if they tried. So, they aren't trying, instead being the brand that explicitly promises not to violate your privacy.

Safari 13 has a whole host of anti-tracking features implemented behind the scenes as well as the 'Sign-In with Apple' function, and overall it adds up to a more secure browsing experience than you would get from other browsers on the market today.

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