How to use Safari on an iPhone or iPad

How to use Safari on an iPhone or iPad

The iPhone's always been great for surfing the web, and Apple's mobile version of Safari just keeps getting better. The browser boasts a sleek, efficient interface, which goes almost fullscreen the second you scroll (flick downwards to get the toolbars back), and also makes it easy to find content, via powerful web and in-page searching.

Articles you don't have time to peruse can be stashed for later, favourite sites can be bookmarked and shared, and you can subscribe to sites you love, so that you never miss an update.

For sites you visit daily, shortcuts can be added to your Home Screen by tapping Share and selecting Add to Home Screen. Most sites provide an app-like icon, meaning the shortcuts look perfectly at home among your apps.

1. Visit websites

At the top of the screen is the Unified Smart Search Field, into which you can type a URL (such as or a search term, then tap Go.

During searches, Safari will attempt to provide intelligent results for locations, iTunes content or Wikipedia articles. Also, try visiting a site and performing a search.

Then next time you'll be able to search directly from the Unified Smart Search Field: just type the URL, a space, then your search term, and tap Go.

2. Text searches

One neat trick that some people overlook is the ability to search through the text of a page using the Unified Smart Search field.

Enter a word and scroll down to On This Page. Tap the Find "word" panel and Safari will highlight in yellow all instances of that word on the page.

You can move through matched words using the Next and Previous Match buttons in the bottom left, or enter a new search term in the search field in the bottom right of the screen.

3. Saving images

You can save images from Safari by tapping and holding on them until the menu appears; now choose Save Image and it'll be sent to the Photos app.

Return to your Home Screen and open Photos to view the image in your collection. You can share the image on Facebook, Twitter or Flickr by tapping Share.

4. Navigating web pages

Flick your finger up and down to scroll up and down through a web page. You can use the pinch-to-zoom gesture to zoom in on text and images, or double-tap a part of the screen to intelligently zoom to that element.

Simply tap on links to open them, and move back and forward using the icons at the left of the menu bar at the foot of the screen. Tap and hold on links to bring up a menu with options such as 'Open In A New Tab' or 'Add To Reading List'.

5. Adding bookmarks

To bookmark a page, tap the Share button and select Bookmark. By default, Bookmarks are added to Favourites (the grid of icons you see when opening a new tab), but you can select an alternative location.

Tap Save to bookmark the page. A faster way to add a page to your Favourites is to tap the URL, tap the clock, then tap Add to Favorites. Saved bookmarks can be browsed by tapping the Bookmarks icon, and managed/deleted using the Edit button.

How to use Safari on an iPhone

6. Set up a Reading List

Safari Reading List is a great way to keep track of articles that you want to read at a later date. Tap the Share button, then Add to Reading List to add the page to your Reading List.

Now tap Bookmarks, then the Reading List icon (it looks like a pair of glasses). As you tap items in your reading list they'll disappear from the list; you can see items you've already read by tapping Show All at the bottom right of the screen.

7. Safari Reader

Safari Reader is a great way to view a web page without distractions (such as flashing adverts or animated graphics).

To view a page in Reader mode, tap on the Reader icon just to the left of the web address in the Unified Smart Search Field – the icon looks like four horizontal lines.

When you've finished, tap the Reader icon again to return to the standard page view.

8. iCloud Tabs

iCloud tabs show web pages open on other devices linked to your Apple ID. Tap the tabs button and then scroll down to see the list.

Tap anything in the list to open it. You can also remove an iCloud tab by swiping from right to left and tapping Delete.

How to use Safari on an iPhone

9. Share via AirDrop

You can share pages wirelessly with other iOS 8 users using the AirDrop feature. Swipe your finger up from the bottom of the screen to open Control Centre, and tap AirDrop, then Everyone (or Contacts Only to be more selective).

Now in Safari tap the Share button, and anyone nearby with AirDrop turned on will appear in the Action sheet. Tap a person and they'll receive an invitation to view the page.

How to use Safari on an iPhone

To access the Shared Links feature, tap on the Bookmarks icon in Safari and then tap the Shared Links tab (represented by the '@' symbol).

By default, the tab will show links shared via any Twitter accounts you've set up in Settings > Twitter. Very handy. But it goes further…

Visit any website that regularly updates, such as a blog, then return to the Shared Links tab and tap Subscriptions. If the site has a feed you can subscribe to, Add Current Site will be in blue.

Tap this to add the site to your list. Headlines will then be displayed; tap any entry to view the associated web page.