iOS 8 Preview: A closer look at Safari’s new features and all the improvements

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Safari is probably one of the only stock iOS apps that gets some attention in every major iOS software update. So not surprisingly, Safari has received an update in iOS 8 as well.

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Here’s what Apple has to say about the changes and improvements in Safari in iOS 8:

The Tab view you know and love in Safari on iPhone now appears on your iPad. You can see all your open web pages, with tabs from the same site grouped together. There’s also a new Sidebar that slides out to reveal your bookmarks, Reading List, and Shared Links. So you’ll enjoy a familiar browsing experience across all your devices.

But that’s not the only thing that’s new in Safari in iOS 8.

Safari gets the fullscreen view

Safari for iPad also gets the new fullscreen mode, which was introduced for the iPhone in iOS 7, where the search field at the top and the toolbar at the bottom disappear when you’re browsing, and shows you the content with domain name of the website in the status bar.

New Sidebar

Safari on the iPad gets a new Sidebar that can be accessed by tapping on the bookmark button, it gives you access to your bookmarks, Reading List and Shared links from Twitter.

iPad gets the Tab view

iOS 8 finally brings the Tab view to Safari on the iPad. The Tab view on Safari is more organized, as tabs from the same site are grouped together, and the tabs open on your other devices are nicely arranged below the tabs.
You can switch to the tab view with a two or three-finger pinch gesture as you can see in the video below, which is quite cool.

App Extensions for Safari

One of the killer features in iOS 8 that will significantly change the way we use Safari is App Extensions, which will for example: allow you to use 1Password to auto populate the username and password for secure websites, or allow you to save a link to services like Pocket, Evernote etc. so you can read it later if Safari’s Reading list is not your preferred option. You can see how the 1Password app extension will work in Safari in the video below:

Request Desktop site
Most third-party browsers like Chrome have an option for users to request for the Desktop site for quite sometime. You will finally be able to request the Desktop version of the site in Safari by simply tapping on the URL of the website, swipe the screen of the Safari homepage down on the screen, then tap on Request Desktop Site. As you can see, you also have an “Add to Favorites”, which is a lot easier and faster way to add a website to Favorites.

Autofill Credit Card Information with your Camera

The autofill feature makes it easier to fill credit card information in iOS 8 with your iPhone’s camera. When you tap on the credit card field, you will get an option to Scan Credit Card on top of the keyboard. Safari will then use the camera, and you’ll need to position the card in the frame for it to automatically take the photo, scan and fill the information in the credit card field.

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