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New in Safari 6: iCloud Tabs, Tab View, Share button, more

27 June 2012 4,738 views 10 Comments

There is a new version of Safari coming in OS X Mountain Lion and there are some cool new features to check out, as well as some “me too” stuff hardly worth a bullet point. But, cover it all, we shall and here’s an in-depth look at the new features and functionality coming in Safari 6.

Apple is advertising “200+ New Features” in OS X Mountain Lion, which is due in July, perhaps on or about the 19th. Cupertino’s next big desktop operating system rewrite, which deepens and extends changes wrought in 2011′s OS X Lion, brings with it the first whole-number Safari update in over two years.

Worth the wait? Here’s a sneak peak at what’s coming in Safari 6.

Smart search field — The real story here is that the dedicated search field is now gone. Hurray, a feature that Apple should have delivered two, three or more years ago.

• Share button (image above) — Single-button access to sharing via Mail, Message and Twitter. This is a back to Mac feature that first appeared in iOS that will become “complete” once Apple delivers Facebook integration, which is coming in Mountain Lion.

— See also: Safari 6 for OS X Lion: What’s new

• Offline reading list — Tried this feature and it is nice, but isn’t good enough (yet) to replace Evernote, which I use on all of my i-things and Macs.

• Tab View

— Here is a gesture (thumb + one finger, pinch in) that trackpad-equipped Mac owners will use. It ties in nicely with the two-finger swipe to navigate from one tab to another.

• Password AutoFill — When you log in to a website, Safari offers to save your password for AutoFill, so you don’t have to type it the next time you log in. This isn’t a new feature per se, but I will be happy if it actually works consistently in Safari 6.

• View passwords — About darned time. Safari finally gives users the option to view a password after authenticating via your Mac’s admin password. Yes, you could and still can do the exact same thing via KeyChain, but now you needn’t leave Safari, saving time and angst.

• Smooth scrolling — Smooth scrolling isn’t new, but Apple’s bumped up the usability by delivering hardware acceleration, which could make things just that much creamier. I suspect this feature will probably only be available on newer Macs.

• iCloud Tabs

— Here’s a feature that could eat into my use of Evernote. So, you found a nifty, neato story while using an i-thing (or Mac portable) and now you want to view it on your Mac or vice versa? Done. Open Safari tabs can now be synced across multiple devices automagically via iCloud.

• Do Not Track — Again, this isn’t a new feature per se and perhaps the only change here is that Apple changed the copy to “Safari asks the websites you visit not to track you online” rather then continuing the fiction that websites will actually stop tracking you (hint: they aren’t obliged to).

• Rename bookmarks in the bookmarks bar — Again, not a new feature (previously, you needed to right-click to access link name editing). Now you can tap, hold and accomplish the same thing.

• Improved hardware acceleration — Sounds good, but I suspect that this feature only works on newer Macs. Or, put another way, I rather doubt Apple took the time to bring hardware acceleration in Safari to my 2007 iMac with ATI HD 2400 graphics. Maybe, but doubt it.

• Faster performance — Safari speeds up JavaScript performance by up to 6 percent (hurray?)

So, given the above, when Apple says “200+ New Features” you will know to take that claim with fairly large grain — the 5lbs variety — of salt. Yes, good things are coming in Mountain Lion, but there’s a good bit of reheated stuff along for the ride…

What are you favorite new Safari 6 features?

via Apple’s Official Safari 6 Description

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