Tech Talks@2: About Safari
When it comes to Internet browsers, not all are created equal. Tech Talks @2 recently started a four-part series to highlight some of the latest features in Internet Explorer (IE), Firefox, Chrome, and Safari. We will cover one browser each Tuesday, so tune in at 2:00pm to learn how your current browser of choice stacks up against the others. Who knows, you might walk away with a new favorite browser.
This week’s Tech Talks @2 (watch now) focused on Safari, which is available for all versions of Windows (Windows XP and greater) and Mac (OSX 10.5 and greater). The following are some of the features of Safari.
Safari is the internet browser developed by Apple, and is compatible across all Apple platforms, including Mac, iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch. A Windows version is also available that features the “native look” of PCs with similar fonts, directory paths, title bars and toolbars.
The latest version of Safari is automatically updated to your devices through iCloud, Apple’s web-based “cloud” storage feature, which can also push all your documents, photos, or other files to all your devices if desired.
One of the new features offered by Safari is Reading List, which saves web pages to read or view later by clicking on the little eyeglass icon in the upper left corner. Other features include zoom full page or text only, closed captioning for HTML5 video, and a voice-over screen reader.
A growing list of extensions or plug-ins are available for Safari, including “New York Times”, which scrolls headlines across the top of your screen. They are extremely easy to install with just one click.
I also recommend that you check out “clea.nr”, a YouTube viewer that removes distracting objects from the screen when you view a video. You can “dim the lights” while viewing your video.
“Adblock” remarkably removes all advertisements from web pages. Really. I tried it with Yahoo, one of the most notoriously obnoxious carriers of nagging advertisements, and the page magically filled up with stories instead of ads. Since I’m constantly searching for free artwork or photographs, I tried some of these sites, which usually bombard me with ads and pop-ups and more ads. Adblock worked like a charm.
These last two plug-ins alone encourages me to use Safari on my home computer, but, alas, most applications at Elon are friendlier to Firefox than other browsers.
What distinguishes Safari from other browsers?
Safari was released in 2007 by Apple and is now the default browser for Mac OS and iOS operating systems, which means it comes on all Macs, iPads, and iPhones. It is also available for Windows XP through Windows 9. Although it has only about 9% of the market share for users worldwide, Safari does account for 62% of mobile web browsing traffic. Safari is popular due to its speed, and since it was built by Apple, it works best on Apple systems reportedly with fewer page rendering problems. It seems to be ahead of other browsers with its compatibility to HTML5. Developers also like Safari’s increasing access to code for various reasons.
Many people confuse Windows Explorer with Windows Internet Explorer. Windows Explorer is the operating system for most PCs, having replaced DOS in the early. Internet Explorer (released in 1995) is the web browser developed by Microsoft and is the most-used browsers for PCs (i.e., non-Macs) with about 50% of the market. It also happens to be part of the Windows Explorer operating system, and in fact starting with Version 9 will not work on any other operating system.
Chrome (introduced in 2008) is owned by Google. It’s known for quick page loads and searching, its built-in features, compatibility with HTML5, a clean, minimalist design and built-in security features. Google keeps rolling out add-ons, features, and plug-ins that are elegantly displayed in the Chrome Web Store. One of the newest browsers, it has a market share of about 17% of users worldwide.
Firefox (introduced in 2004) is owned by a non-profit company (Mozilla) and is independent of larger tech companies. It’s one of the most highly recommended browsers for both PC and Mac platforms. Firefox is hailed as the world’s most customizable browser, with over 100 plug-ins and add-ons. Mozilla enthusiastically invites programmers and users to participate in its evolution. Firefox market share is about 19% of users worldwide.
Ben McFadyen is an academic technology consultant at Elon University who actively translates between teaching, learning, and technology. He works with faculty to explore how technology can be used to enhance student learning and provide efficient, effective ways to achieve pedagogical goals.