The key features of Yosemite's Safari 8

Safari is changing with Yosemite's, read on to find out what you can expect from the new version of Safari

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  • Shot 1 Minimal
  • Shot 2 Address bar
  • Shot 3 Safari and Spotlight
  • Shot 4 RSS feeds
  • Shot 5 Tab View
  • Shot 6 Navigating
  • Shot 7 Privacy
  • Shot 8
  • Shot 9 New technologies
  • More stories
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Minimal

The focus in Safari for Yosemite is on dedicating as much space as possible to showing the webpage content and one way this was done was by removing the title bar.

This is consistent with the iOS experience which doesn’t show a title bar either (you can see the title, or part thereof in the page’s tab if you have more than one tab open, or you've selected to have the tab bar always visible), but this removes a feature we had been used to since web browsers first came onto the scene.

It also makes it harder to move the window around by limiting the area you can drag it from.

Read our Yosemite review

Read: Yosemite tips for beginners

Read How to use Safari on the Mac, Yosemite Safari tips

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Next Prev Shot 1

The focus in Safari for Yosemite is on dedicating as much space as possible to showing the webpage content and one way this was done was by removing the title bar.

This is consistent with the iOS experience which doesn’t show a title bar either (you can see the title, or part thereof in the page’s tab if you have more than one tab open, or you've selected to have the tab bar always visible), but this removes a feature we had been used to since web browsers first came onto the scene.

It also makes it harder to move the window around by limiting the area you can drag it from.

Read our Yosemite review

Read: Yosemite tips for beginners

Read How to use Safari on the Mac, Yosemite Safari tips

 

Address bar

Another feature inspired by iOS 7's version of Safari is the truncation of the web address. Only the top level domain name, i.e. www.macworld.co.uk is visible, no matter how far down into the site you delve.

Click on the address bar and the full URL is revealed, but it’s invisible by default.

This probably simplifies matters for novice users, but experienced navigators may feel this “improvement” curtailing. Sadly, there appears to be no option to bring the feature back, even as a preference.

Read: 22 Yosemite icons compared with their Mavericks counterparts

 

Safari and Spotlight

Putting the negatives aside, Safari’s new smart search feature is a fantastic addition; it’s hooked up to Spotlight which means the information you see when you access Spotlight will be similar when you do a search in Safari, including Wikipedia previews.

As a result, it's possible to bypass Google altogether should you need to access a Wikipedia page for instance, while still using the traditional web search field at the top of the Safari window.

The search field also includes thumbnails of your favourite web pages along with those pages you visit frequently, so you no longer need a favourites bar, although this is something that you can bring back should you want to.

Read: Get more from Spotlight in OS X

 

RSS feeds

Sharing options have been revamped. You can, for instance subscribe to a page’s RSS feed from the sharing menu (whose icon looks like an arrow going upwards out of a square shape). Those subscriptions will then appear in the Safari sidebar.

You can also share links to people very easily: that same menu will offer a list of those you’ve communicated with most recently.

Click on their name and an email will be prepared for you with the link attached.

Read: Everything you need to know about OS X Yosemite: FAQs

 

Tab View

In Mavericks, you can zoom out of the tab you’re currently reading by pinching your trackpad, and see previews of all the other tabs contained on that page. However, you have to scroll left and right to see them all.

In Yosemite, all tab previews rearrange themselves inside the page when you click on the ‘Tab View’ button (to the right of the Share button), in a manner similar to initiating Exposé with the F9 and F10 keys. Pages from the same website are stacked together.

This makes finding the right tab a much easier exercise than before. You can also see a list of pages currently active on other Mac or iOS devices you own.

Read: 12 great new Safari 8 features

 

Navigating

If you love tabs, you’ll appreciate this new feature: move the cursor over the tab bar and swipe left or right to scroll through them all.

This replaces the chevron icon that would appear to the right of the Tab bar in Mavericks, should you have more tab that could be displayed in that bar.

As usual, clicking on a tab selects it, but this makes navigating through them from the bar much easier.

Read: Should I upgrade from Mavericks to OS X Yosemite?

 

Privacy

Privacy has been greatly improved. In Mavericks, switching on “Private Mode” would affect every single open window and tab you had, which would affect your login details on some pages.

Now, Yosemite enables you to only make a single window private. Any tab within that window will not register cookies, and treat you as an unknown web visitor, but other windows will keep knowing your identity.

Please note that Private Mode doesn’t make you invisible: a website will still be able to know your IP address, where in the world you’re visiting from, and the computer and version of Safari you're using, for instance.

Read: Will your Mac run OS X 10.10 Yosemite?

 

If you like the idea of limiting the size of your digital footprint as you browse, then you may appreciate a new search engine to the list of options you can use with Safari; in addition to Google, Yahoo and Bing, which are the ones you can already choose in Mavericks, you now have the ability to choose DuckDuckGo.

This recent contender promises to not track your personal information when you make use of it. Regretfully, its results aren’t (yet) as good as the competition, but some may well find this a small price to pay for improved privacy online. More privacy can mean more options, like in the case of the new Clear History menu.

In Mavericks, this option would destroy your entire history, but Yosemite is more tactful, letting you delete your last hour’s history, or extend it to ‘today’, ‘today and yesterday’, or the usual ‘all time’.

Read: New features in Mail for OS X Yosemite

 

New technologies

Apple has worked hard to make Safari highly responsive while performing better in Yosemite. To that end, new technologies are being supported, like WebGL, which allows a web browser to render 2D and 3D graphics without the need of a plugin.

HMTL5 Premium Video is an extension to make it easier to stream DRM-protected content straight from a webpage, and Safari will support it in Yosemite, which should have a huge positive impact on battery life when streaming movies on a laptop.

They’ve also worked to greatly improve multi-tab browsing power efficiency, which means you’ll be able to browse multiple pages for longer while on the go.

You can read even more about Yosemite at our Yosemite Topic Zone

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Step by step guide to Safari in Yosemite

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