In the battle of the web browser, there has been one clear winner for many years.
With over 65% of the worldwide browser market share, Google Chrome reigns king.
I don’t understand this. I never have.
Unless you’re using a Chromebook, you have to actively install Chrome on your device, which means the vast majority of people are doing so at will. Why don’t they use the browser included with their computer? After all, you can guarantee that’s what they do on their smartphone.
My suspicion that these users are missing a trick was confirmed this week when I began using my Surface Laptop 4. Microsoft’s Edge browser seems fast, stable and feature-packed. Why would you bother wasting time installing Chrome instead?
Anyway – enough of the Chrome bashing (I like it, too, for what it’s worth). Here are some handy Safari tips for anyone who wants to make the most of the best web browser for Macs.
1. Pinning tabs
I use Notion all of the time. It practically runs my business and keeps my brain in check.
I also tend to stick with the web version, rather than their native app, which is why I pin it as a tab in Safari.
You do this simply by right-clicking on the tab and selecting Pin Tab. This pops it over to the left-hand side of the browser where it remains ever-present.
I only pin Notion these days, but I’d recommend pinning any web app or website that you use regularly – it’s a big time saver.
A word of warning, though. I’m not entirely sure how Safari handles pinned tabs when you first open the browser. Whether or not they load in the background is anyone’s guess, but I’ve had instances where pinned tabs consume buckets of system resources. Therefore, if you experience poor performance or battery life, check your pinned tabs for the ‘significant resources’ message and unpin!
Fed up with switching between two Safari tabs?
For instance, if you’re working on a blog post on one tab and referring to research material on another, it can be a real pain switching between the two. Unlike Windows, you can’t ‘alt+tab’ between browser windows, either, which means manually clicking between them is the only option.
Or is it?
Good news: you might not be aware that you can (relatively) quickly create a side-by-side view of two Safari tabs in macOS. To do so, simply click one of the tabs in the Tab Bar and drag it away from the tab bar. This will release it, enabling you to long-press the green window resize button (top-left), and choose to place it on either the left or right of the screen, followed by the other tab on the opposite side.
Nope, it’s not quite as quick as iPadOS or Windows (both of which automatically create the side-by-side view when you move the tab to the left or right edge of the screen), but useful, nonetheless.
3. Reader View: a hidden gem
Some web pages are noisy. Whether it’s a multitude of ads, poor user interface design or just far too much content surrounding what you’re interested in, it’s often hard to remain focused.
To get rid of that noise and focus on the good stuff, I’d recommend trying Safari’s Reader View. This has existed for a number of years, but it isn’t obvious (and it looks like it’s about to get even less obvious come macOS Monterey). To access Reader View, look for the little ‘paper’ icon to the left of the web address.
It won’t be available for every website, but most blogs and news articles should be compatible with Reader View. Click it, and Safari will strip out everything but the article’s words and in-line imagery. This makes reading stuff on the web so much easier and is particularly useful when researching stuff or simply devouring your favourite blogger’s work.
4. Turn on Keychain
I won’t labour the point with this – because I wrote about it recently – but Keychain is the best password manager if you’re welded into the Apple ecosystem.
If you haven’t turned it on yet, please do so, because Safari benefits most handsomely from the ability to quickly recall your passwords and credit card details.
Of all the Safari tips I’ve offered today, this is by far the biggest time saver for me.
5. Use Handoff with your iPhone
There are some serious benefits to being an Apple Sheep. One of them is Handoff.
If you’re not aware, Handoff provides a range of tools for Apple users that make sharing content between devices super-easy and convenient.
When it comes to Safari, this primarily extends to moving websites viewed on one device to another device without any form of copy-and-paste. So, if you find something useful on Safari on your iPhone and want to view the same web page on your Mac, there’s a nifty little trick you can employ.
With the webpage open on your iPhone and your Mac nearby, look for the new Safari icon in the dock (it usually appears to the far right). The Safari logo will be accompanied by a little iPhone icon, and will say Safari from iPhone when you hover your mouse pointer over it.
Click that, and you’re transported immediately to said webpage.
Thanks, Tim. Baaaaaa.
I hope you enjoyed my Safari tips.
What did I miss? I can guarantee there’s something you do with Safari that is conspicuous by its absence above. So, get involved in the comments!