Safari for iOS to go full-screen

Get ready, iOS fans: Safari for iOS nearly eliminates the browser interface, while debuting security improvements and a few new ways that you can move around the Web.

Safari for iOS 7 showcases a new look that practically eliminates the border between browser and app. James Martin/CNET

While Apple's updates to Safari for OS X Mavericks are more about keeping up with the Joneses, Safari for iOS 7 looks to forge new ground by making the browser look and feel more like the operating system.

Safari for iOS 7 features a nearly chrome-less interface ("chrome" refers to the visible interface portions of software), a new tab view, fewer restrictions on tabs, and iCloud Keychain integration, Apple announced at its Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday.

By default, the iOS 7 Safari is set to what looks like full-screen mode. With the browser's chrome mostly eliminated, and the controls such as the combined search-and-location bar at the top and navigation buttons at the bottom stripped down to extremely minimalist appearances, the browser takes on the look of a sophisticated app. This will go a long way toward helping iOS push Web sites to adopt layouts that look like apps, as modern HTML5 provides the sites with app-like functionality.

The Tab View page has been revamped, so that tabs appear in a vertical column as large thumbnails; and the browser itself will now let you open more than eight tabs at a time. You'll be able to swipe to close tabs from Tab View.

The new Safari for iOS comes with integration into several of the new features in Safari for Mac that were revealed at the conference, too. The iCloud Keychain integration will not only give people who use OS X Mavericks and iOS 7 Safari credit card and password syncing, but a powerful password creation tool. You'll be able to scroll through stories in the Reading List, as well.

Safari for iOS 7 is expected when the operating system debuts later this year.

 

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