“Reader” Feature for Safari 5

Estimated reading time: 2 minute(s)

iPhone 4

Along with the announcement of the new iPhone on Monday (including a fantastic new design, Apple’s A4 processor for greater speed and battery life, and many other great features like the new FaceTime video calling), Apple also released Safari 5 (for Mac/Windows).

As is my wont, I updated all our computers as soon as I heard of the available update, and didn’t think much of it. I always assume most of the updates are bug fixes and/or security patches, which are of course beneficial. But this time, I also noticed a fun new feature: Reader.

Reader lets you view a web page (like this very one) with all of the extraneous content “stripped” away, allowing the viewer a more enjoyable “reading” experience. So, header, ads, sidebars… all of that is gone, and up pops a nicely formatted version of the article in a window that sits on top of the one you were just viewing.

Once you’re in Reader mode, if you scroll over the content, several buttons appear near the bottom of the window. There are the two magnifying glasses with the plus and minus (for zooming in and out), an envelope (for emailing the simply-formatted article, along with a link to the full version), and a printer icon (for printing this reader-friendly format). There is also a circle with an X, to exit the Reader mode.

To access the feature there is a handy little button that appears at the far right end of the address bar whenever a page has content that can be viewed in the “Reader”. The button says, “READER”. 🙂 One click takes you to the new view.

Go ahead. Give it a try…

Now that you’re seeing this content in it’s purest, simplest form, you can just relax and enjoy reading all of the great content on the web—for example, you could start with a perusal of the archives of GregsHead.net, starting with any of the “Related articles” at the bottom of this post!

To exit the reader, click anywhere on the window, or click that READER button that got you to the simpler view to begin with.

A pretty neat new feature that I am going to give a go for a week or so. If it’s as usable as it seems… then I’ll be doing so for much more than a week!

Interesting take… Some are concerned that removing the ads and other extraneous stuff will limit the site owners’ money-making potential. However, once you see the feature, you’ll realize that first, you have to actually click the button to use this feature on EVERY single page you navigate to, and likewise, it’s completely a voluntary option—no way to make it the default.

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