5 of 7Image
Safari is, perhaps, the most boring of all browsers, not known for its innovative interface or cutting-edge features. But because mobile Safari is the only option on the wildly popular iPad, it’s insanely popular. And on both OS X and iOS it has one built-in feature that none of its rivals do.
When you visit a web page in Safari, you can share it easily via Twitter or Facebook (or email) using the Share tool. This feature doesn’t require any third-party apps, and it lets you bypass annoying widgets that add extra information (including tracking codes) to your tweet or post. If you haven’t previously connected either service to your iPad, you’ll be prompted to do so the first time you use this feature. After that, it’s a simple matter of tap-and-share.
Firefox Master Password
Every modern browser offers the capability to save usernames and passwords for sites that require you to sign in. That’s convenient, but it also introduces a security risk: If you leave your computer unattended, someone can visit your bank, a shopping site, or your web-based mail or social media account and automatically log in as you.
Unless you’ve saved those credentials in Firefox, that is. Mozilla’s browser offers the option to assign a Master Password to protect those credentials. When you turn on that setting, an intruder who sits down at your PC will be unable to browse through your list of saved usernames and passwords unless they can supply the Master Password. It’s up to you to choose a strong password that’s not easy to guess. But you knew that already, right?
Internet Explorer (Windows 8 only) Reading View
In Windows 8, Internet Explorer has a single rendering engine, but two distinct personalities. So distinct, in fact, that one killer feature is only available when you leave the desktop.
Ads, widgets, ugly formatting, and overcomplicated navigation aids can make the experience of reading a web page unnecessarily difficult. With the Immersive (nee Metro) Windows 8 version of Internet Explorer, you can clear away the clutter with one click of the Reading View button.
Reading View is similar in design to the Reader feature in Apple’s Safari browser. But Microsoft’s designers added the capability to customize the background color (sepia is especially easy on the eyes when using a large monitor) and to set a standard font size.
In fact, Reading View is so convenient you might be tempted to use the plugin-free Windows 8 Internet Explorer even on a desktop PC. If you do lots of online reading, your eyes will thank you.