The Coolest New Feature

I did watch a live blog on and off of the WWDC yesterday which really focused heavily on the iPhone while I was watching but the time came that other commitments kicked in and off I went to take care of them.

At home, I was remembering that there was speculation of a new update to Safari to be announced so I thought I’d check it out.  Now, I’m a big Chrome user so I dusted off Safari and went to the Apple website and there was nothing new.

I wonder what happened?  I did a quick search and found a couple of interesting stories.  One indicated that Safari 5 was posted and then removed.  Another indicated that someone was pleasantly surprised by Safari 5 appearing via system update.  So, I ran a system update manually.  Nothing.  Oh well.  Then, for whatever reason, I visited the Safari download site using Google Chrome and there Safari 5 was!

That was odd.  I went back and visited the Safari site with Safari and it was still showing version 4.  Is this a message that people who were using Chrome needed to update?  I downloaded while the downloading was good!  As I was downloading, I ran another System Update and, sure enough, it was no available there.  I cancelled the download and let the System Update do its thing and shortly I was running it.

On first run, it didn’t look any different than Safari 4.  Did I really have the new version?

Yes I do.

OK, maybe I need to look a little harder.  It did seem to load quicker.  Then, for whatever reason, I had the urge to check out the local newspaper and see the current stories surrounding the tornado damage in Leamington.  Ooh.  There’s something new in my address bar.

There’s a “Reader” where my “RSS” would normally be!  I know what happens when I click on the RSS button, but Reader?

Wow!  Now, the local newspaper is like to many others.  Lots of advertising to pay the bills.  In this case, the Reader utility discards the advertising, gets rid of the pictures, and gets you just the core of what you’d be looking for – the story itself.

That is one spectacular feature if you do a lot of reading of stories and don’t want to be distracted by the animations and flashing and blinking of background noise competing for your attention.  For the moment, I’m losing interesting in the HTML5 support and the quicker Javascript purported to be in the new software and the inclusion of Bing as a search engine.  This is one really cool reading feature and I like it.

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8 Replies to “The Coolest New Feature”

  1. Thanks for the leads, Peter. I wasn’t aware that there was a Chrome version. I’m liking the concept in Safari of the print because there should be a way to send it to a reader.

    Andy, that’s a great concept of using it with your IWB. Should be easy for the students to mark up, etc.

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  2. Downloaded Safari 5 this morning at school and trying to get the Reader feature to work. Must read fine print – only works in OSX and the computers at school are all Windows boxes. The Chrome extensions work nicely on the PCs – thanks Peter for that information.

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  3. Hi Doug, Hi Peter, Hi Peter.

    Okay – so no Safari Reader in the Windows version of Safari 5 makes that feature addition a non-feature for our schools via Safari.

    I did, however, just now download the Readability plug-in for Firefox, and it works quite nicely for my intended purpose (shared reading on the IWB). Coupled with CTRL++ (zoom in) and CTRL+- (zoom out) the Readability keystroke CTRL+ALT+R makes for a pretty sweet addition. It would be nice if there were a way to reduce the size of the left/right margins, though. Anyone know how that can be done via the Readability plug-in?

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  4. On the Chrome Extension, go to Extensions and then the options does give you a bit of control. Can you adjust the screen resolution? Maybe make it bigger and then position the text inside? There’s got to be a way to skin this cat.

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