Safari 5.1

OS X Lion and a few new Mac computers aren’t the only things Apple launched today. The company also released the latest version of the Safari web browser for Mac and Windows.

Safari 5.1 has a few new features baked in, including a Reading List that allows you to save pages you want to read later. Just hold down the shift button while you click on any link to add it to your Reading List. You can also open Reading List in your sidebar and add any page by clicking the “Add Page” button.”

You’ll also be able to access your personal reading list from your computer when surfing the web using an iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad running iOS 5 once the mobile software update is available to the public.

There’s also a Safari Reader view that allows you to read pages in your Reading List in a streamlined view with nothing but text, links, and photos — no ads, sidebars, or other web content. As a web publisher I’m not entirely sure how I feel about that feature yet, but as a reader, it looks promising. Interestingly, I noticed that the Reader option wasn’t available on most Apple websites.

The browser also includes new privacy options that let you view or remove data collected by web sites, block cookies, or limit access to location data.

If you’re using the new web browser on OS X Lion you also get support for new multi-task touchpad gestures, a sandboxing feature that prevents websites from installing malware on your computer, and improved graphics performance.

I took Safari 5.1 for a spin on a computer running Windows 7, and while the browser doesn’t offer all the features you get if you’re using a Mac, it’s a pretty strong browser on Windows. Web pages load quickly, and if you’ve used Google Chrome lately you should be right at home with the minimal look and feel of the toolbar at the top of the browser window.


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