Inside iOS 7: Safari gains portrait fullscreen, unified search bar, visual tabs

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Underneath its fresh coat of paint, Safari in iOS 7 includes a number of new features that make it a richer mobile browsing experience, including a mandated fullscreen mode in both portrait and landscape views, and a new unified smart search box.

Safari


Safari in the first iOS 7 beta still has the same general look and feel of its predecessor, with an address bar at the top of the screen and menu bar at the bottom. Also included are the typical back, forward, share, bookmarks, and tab buttons.

But once users scroll down on a page, those menus immediately disappear, allowing them to focus on the content.

To return the menu bar and full-size address bar to the screen, users simply scroll upward on a webpage. The controls also automatically appear when a user scrolls completely to the top or bottom of a page.

Previously, in iOS 6, the fullscreen browser mode was only available when using Safari in landscape orientation. In the first iOS 7 beta, not only is it available in portrait mode, it also doesn't need to be turned on ??fullscreen browsing is now the only way to use Safari, with no current option to disable it.

Safari


At the top of the screen is the new unified smart search box. Once users begin typing, a number of options appear, including "Top Hits," "Suggested Sites," "Google Search," "Bookmarks and History," and an "On This Page" search.

In settings, the Smart Search Field can also be edited to disable "Search Suggestions," as well as a "Preload Top Hit" option.

Another new Settings option is "AutoFill," which ties in with Apple's new cross-platform iCloud Keychain. Here, Safari can be set up to remember personal information, names and passwords, and even credit cards.

iCloud Keychain can also be used with Safari to generate a unique, secure password. And data stored on iCloud is saved with 256-bit AES encryption.

Safari


Users are prompted to store specific data on a site-by-site basis, and iCloud Keychain support will also come to OS X Mavericks when it debuts this fall.

The new tab view in Safari in iOS 7 is reminiscent of Apple's Cover Flow user element. Currently open websites are presented in a scrollable 3D manner, and users can easily select a tab, or swipe it off-screen to close it. Scrolling to the bottom of the tabs presents iCloud Tabs that may be open Safari browsers on other devices.

Both the tab and bookmarks menus also include quick links to the "Private" browsing mode in the bottom left corner. Once this is selected, Safari will ask if users wish to close all of their existing pages. When Private mode is enabled, the menu bars turn dark to remind the user.

Also new to Safari in iOS 7 is a "Shared Links" option in the bookmarks menu. Here, users can view all of the URLs posted by people they follow in their Twitter timeline, further tightening iOS integration with the social networking service.

The new mobile Safari will debut this fall when iOS 7 becomes available to the public. For more on Apple's upcoming mobile operating system update, see the other parts of AppleInsider's ongoing Inside iOS 7 series.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 30
    ghostface147ghostface147 Posts: 1,629member
    I am having a hard time adjusting to the add new tab being in the bottom middle of the screen.
  • Reply 2 of 30
    MacProMacPro Posts: 16,945member
    I am having a hard time adjusting to the add new tab being in the bottom middle of the screen.

    Wow I didn't notice that ... I will have to reboot M. I've been loving the tabs in Finder so much I didn't even notice Safari had changed this.
  • Reply 3 of 30
    matrix07matrix07 Posts: 1,993member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post



    I am having a hard time adjusting to the add new tab being in the bottom middle of the screen.


    When I saw the + sign I thought it for adding bookmark like in OSX.


  • Reply 4 of 30
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,377member
    Fullscreen certainly is one way to make the screen bigger.

    iCloud Keychain sounds a really nice addition and with the vast amount of information Apple has on me I think I won't mind. At least they don't sell it.

    URL's shared through Twitter seems handy, though I don't use it.
  • Reply 5 of 30
    iaeeniaeen Posts: 588member
    What does the private mode do exactly?
  • Reply 6 of 30
    chandra69chandra69 Posts: 638member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post



    Fullscreen certainly is one way to make the screen bigger.

     


    It is not to make users to feel the screen is bigger.  But in Intro iOS7 video, Jony mentioned that - it gives the feeling of "Immerse in the content".


    But, what you said also partially correct. In fact, it gives the feeling of a little more screen size.

  • Reply 7 of 30
    notscottnotscott Posts: 247member
    Chandra, did you have a point?
  • Reply 8 of 30
    iaeeniaeen Posts: 588member
    chandra69 wrote: »
    It is not to make users to feel the screen is bigger.  But in Intro iOS7 video, Jony mentioned that - it gives the feeling of "Immerse in the content".
    But, what you said also partially correct. In fact, it gives the feeling of a little more screen size.

    Regardless of the intention, the new full screen browsing looks fabulous. It's light years ahead of the current full screen browsing.

    I wonder if the layout is going to be the same for the iPad. Currently it looks more like OSX with the buttons and tabs at the top. Full screen browsing would look great on the iPad.
  • Reply 9 of 30
    ghostface147ghostface147 Posts: 1,629member
    Wow I didn't notice that ... I will have to reboot M. I've been loving the tabs in Finder so much I didn't even notice Safari had changed this.

    I was talking about iOS, not Mavericks. The add tab hasn't changed in desktop Safari.
  • Reply 10 of 30
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member


    You forgot to mention that it also gains one of the ugliest and most bizarrely designed icons in the history of icon design.  image


     


    It looks more like a radiation meter than a compass, and if it looked more like a compass, then it would be confusing with the ... compass.  


    IMO they should really just start from scratch and drop the whole compass thing altogether.  


    It's had a long run. Let's see something fresh and new.

  • Reply 11 of 30
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by matrix07 View Post


    When I saw the + sign I thought it for adding bookmark like in OSX.




     


    I find that the way they have put the "add bookmark" into the share button in OS X Safari to be quite annoying.  


    It only barely makes any kind of conceptual sense to say that one is "sharing" when one creates a bookmark for ones own self, and after almost a year I still can't get used to it. 

  • Reply 12 of 30
    iaeeniaeen Posts: 588member
    gazoobee wrote: »
    You forgot to mention that it also gains one of the ugliest and most bizarrely designed icons in the history of icon design.  :)

    It looks more like a radiation meter than a compass, and if it looked more like a compass, then it would be confusing with the ... compass.  
    IMO they should really just start from scratch and drop the whole compass thing altogether.  
    It's had a long run. Let's see something fresh and new.

    Maybe they were actually going for radiation meter ;)
    gazoobee wrote: »
    I find that the way they have put the "add bookmark" into the share button in OS X Safari to be quite annoying.  
    It only barely makes any kind of conceptual sense to say that one is "sharing" when one creates a bookmark for ones own self, and after almost a year I still can't get used to it. 

    On the contrary, I find it confusing when apps (like Dropbox for iOS) have different buttons for "share" and "open in"/"print". The icons differ only by their orientation, and one can't remember which is which. I think the "share" icon needs to be re conceived with a broader meaning and all functions that don't merit their own icons should fall under share.
  • Reply 13 of 30
    matrix07matrix07 Posts: 1,993member
    gazoobee wrote: »
    I find that the way they have put the "add bookmark" into the share button in OS X Safari to be quite annoying.  
    It only barely makes any kind of conceptual sense to say that one is "sharing" when one creates a bookmark for ones own self, and after almost a year I still can't get used to it. 

    So can't I. The first thing I do is add the old "+" icon back. Now life is much easier but look like in Mavericks I don't have to do this no more.

    About Safari icon somebody said above I agree it's the ugliest icon. Off topic I also think the new compass app is one of the best. It's new but it's Apple-like. It wows.
  • Reply 14 of 30
    sdo2000sdo2000 Posts: 29member
    I still really like the way Atomic Web uses full screen browsing. I can choose to have my prefered controls to stay at the bottom and load full screen as soon as the website is finished loading. Also the choice of treating websites like a desktop client is the best for me. I wish safari would give the option for regular tabs on the iphone like Atomic or Safari on the ipad. I have not played with the version in ios7 yet so I can't wait to try it out and see how it all works. Tabs in the current version of ios6 are not that great imo.
  • Reply 15 of 30
    I agree with the comment about the Safari icon; can Apple please try something new for that? It is just ugly.
  • Reply 16 of 30
    fracfrac Posts: 476member
    iaeen wrote: »
    What does the private mode do exactly?

    I've heard its handy for porn...apparently :D
  • Reply 17 of 30


    For the record, you do not have to return to the top of the page to see the controls. Tapping on the top of the screen will first show the controls before returning to the top of the page as usual.


     


    This is a little hidden. Users might be frustrated by not knowing how to get controls back. Once you learn this behavior, it seems fine. The quick scroll to the top action was always hidden, but maybe a little less important since there is an obvious alternative (scrolling manually).


     


    I'm leaning towards "this is an okay sacrifice in discoverability", but not sure. I have mixed feelings about the unseen access to notification center and control center too.


     


    I don't mind the icon, for the record.

  • Reply 18 of 30
    cutykamucutykamu Posts: 219member
    I agree with the comment about the Safari icon; can Apple please try something new for that? It is just ugly.
    You are looking at it the wrong way. :)
    We don't have to stare at the icon whole the time as we will be using the actual app instead of staring at the icon.
  • Reply 19 of 30


    I personally like the icon

  • Reply 20 of 30
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,091member
    Odd that some have such strong feelings about the new Safari icon. It is consistent with the overall aesthetic of the simplification of previously more realistic symbols. It still has the prime elements of a compass, but appears more like the tiny dime store kind, or the little one in a Swiss Army knife. A compass continues to seem like a perfectly logical symbol for navigating the web I think.

    If anyone is disturbed by symbols, it should be the archaic handset for the phone. I can't remember the last time I handled one of those for a call. How about a new symbol for that fundamental function that reflects current experience?
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