One of the major--and most obvious--ways that Safari on the iPhone is different from desktop web browsers is that you control is not with a mouse but by touch. Here are some tips on the use of touch to browse the web using Safari.
For more advanced articles on using Safari, check out:
- Adding, Editing, and Deleting Bookmarks in Safari
- Using AirPlay, AirPrint, and Email in iPhone Safari
- Using Safari Find on Page
- iPhone Safari Settings and Security
Pinching and Double Tapping
If you want to zoom in on a particular section of a web page, simply double tap it (tap twice in quick succession on the same part of the screen) with your finger. This enlarges that section of the page. The same double tap zooms out again.
If you want more control over what you're zooming in on or how much zooming you do, use the multitouch feature.
Put your index finger together with your thumb and place them on the part of the iPhone's screen that you want to zoom in on. Then, drag your fingers apart, sending each one towards the opposite edge of the screen. This zooms in on page. The text and images appear blurry for a moment and then the iPhone makes them crisp and clear again. To zoom out of the page, put your fingers at opposite ends of the screen and drag them towards each other, meeting in the center of the screen.
Jump to the Top of the Page
You scroll down the page by dragging a finger down the screen. But, did you know that you can jump back to the top of a web page without all that scrolling?
To jump to the top of a page (in order to get back to the browser bar, search bar, or the site's navigation), simply tap the top right corner of the iPhone or iPod touch's screen, right near the battery meter. This immediately jumps you back to the top of the web page. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a similar short cut for jumping to the bottom of a page.
Open a Page in a New Window
There are two ways to open a new window in Safari. The first is by tapping the icon in the lower right corner of the Safari window that looks like two squares on top of each other. This makes your current web page small and reveal a New Page button in the bottom left corner. Tap that to open a new window. Tap the two rectangles again and slide back and forth to move between windows, or tap the red X to close a window.
Besides opening a new blank window, though, you may want to open a link in a new window as you do on a desktop computer. Here's how:
- Find the link you want to open in a new window.
- Tap the link and don't remove your finger from the screen.
- Don't let go until a menu pops up from the bottom of the screen that offers five options:
- Open in New Page
- Add to Reading List (iOS 5 and up only)
- Select Open in a New Window and you'll now have two browser windows, one with the first site you visited, the second with your new page.