iPadiPhoneTips & How-to

5 Safari Tips in iOS 5: Private Browsing, Back Button History, Open in Background, Website Data and Tweet

October 20, 2011 — by Simon Ng10


iPadiPhoneTips & How-to

5 Safari Tips in iOS 5: Private Browsing, Back Button History, Open in Background, Website Data and Tweet

October 20, 2011 — by Simon Ng10

Safari LogoThe iOS 5 brings even more features to the mobile Safari browsers. Reader, Reading List and tabbed browsing in iPad are the three major improvements. The Reader essentially displays an uncluttered version of web articles so you can read without distraction. The Reading List, just like Instapaper, lets you save any interesting web article for later reading. If you own an iPad, you can now simply switch between web pages using the tabs under address bar.

On top of these enhancements, there are a few nice improvements that are not highlighted. Again we put up a list of hidden Safari features bundled in iOS 5.

Private Browsing

Similar to Firefox, Chrome or Safari browser on desktop, the mobile Safari now supports private browsing. Private browsing allows you to browse the Internet without saving any data for the site you’ve visited. Nearly all modern browsers on desktop come with this feature. With iOS 5, you can also enjoy private browsing on your iPhone and iPad.

To enable the feature, simply go to Settings -> Safari and switch on “Private Browsing”.

Safari Private Browsing

Open Link in Background

Before the release of iOS 5, you’re only allowed to open any link in the same page or as a new page in Safari. Now Safari in iOS 5 offers another option that lets you open link in the background.

To tweak the setting, go to Settings -> Safari -> Open Links and select “In Background”. Later when you tap and hold a link in a web page, Safari will show the “Open in Background” option.

Safari Open in Background OptionOpen in Background Safari

Remove Individual Website Data

You can now have a finer control of the website data that saves locally on your device. Go to Settings -> Safari -> Advanced and tap on “Website Data”. You can view the amount of data saved locally. In case you want to clean them up, tap the “Edit” button and remove the local data for specific websites. You’re also provided with an option to remove all website data in one batch.

Safari Website Data

Tweet URL

Twitter is now built into the iOS. Not only you can share a URL by email, you can now tweet the URL and share with your Twitter friend directly.

On any web page, tap the middle button in toolbar and you’ll see the “Tweet” option. Tap on it and send out your tweet.

Safari Tweet URLSafari URL Tweet Message

Tap Back Button to Show Browsing History (iPad Only)

For iPad user, you can now tap and hold the “Back” button. Safari will show you the web pages you’ve visited. Simply select any of the web pages to go back.

Safari iPad Back Button History

Did I miss any new Safari feature? Leave me comment and let me know.

Simon Ng

Founder, developer and chief blogger of simonblog.com

  • Marco

    Good tips Simon, thanks for sharing.
    At the same time, do you know how to enable (or if it is still available) the action that , on the Safari 4 let you go at the top of the page, from the end, simply double tapping the Safari bar?
    I tried the same action with Safari 5 without success.
    Thanks in advance,

    • @Marco, you can simply tap the status bar at the top of the screen and Safari will automatically scroll to the top.

      • Carole

        Tapping the status bar on my iPad no longer takes me back to the top of the page.

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