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Old Mar 29, 2010, 01:02 PM   #1
swarmster
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Safari for iPad - tabs and background loading

The new iPad Guided Tour for Safari gives us (as far as I recall) our first look at the tab interface for Safari on the iPad. Pretty slick. At least for the one tab they switch to, it appears that the iPad won't have to reload the page whenever a new tab is loaded. Could this be true? I assume the iPad has more ram than an iPhone/iPod, so it should be possible. Has anyone seen or heard anything about this from the hands-on previews?

In the same vein, any word or thoughts on whether tabs will be able to load in the background? When I'm visiting a slow site, I often like to load individual articles in tabs so I can continue reading the main page while they load. On the iPhone/iPod, this doesn't work since tabs don't load in the background, but again given the additional power of the iPad, maybe this will change?

Background loading and not having the reload when switching tabs would be a huge upgrade in usability for mobile Safari.


Edit: added screen grabs of new interface from Guided Tour video.

Click image for larger version

Name:	tabs.PNG
Views:	2323
Size:	968.5 KB
ID:	219894

Last edited by swarmster; Mar 29, 2010 at 02:03 PM.
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Old Mar 29, 2010, 01:04 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by swarmster View Post
The new iPad Guided Tour for Safari gives us (as far as I recall) our first look at the tab interface for Safari on the iPad. Pretty slick. At least for the one tab they switch to, it appears that the iPad won't have to reload the page whenever a new tab is loaded. Could this be true? I assume the iPad has more ram than an iPhone/iPod, so it should be possible. Has anyone seen or heard anything about this from the hands-on previews?

In the same vein, any word or thoughts on whether tabs will be able to load in the background? When I'm visiting a slow site, I often like to load individual articles in tabs so I can continue reading the main page while they load. On the iPhone/iPod, this doesn't work since tabs don't load in the background, but again given the additional power of the iPad, maybe this will change?

Background loading and not having the reload when switching tabs would be a huge upgrade in usability for mobile Safari.
I don't really consider that tabbed browsing. It's "card-based" in my opinion. True tabbed browsing would have literally tabs on the same screen you could switch to/from. You have to go in and out of the main browser to switch "cards"
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Old Mar 29, 2010, 01:08 PM   #3
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The way the did the tabbed interface for Numbers for the iPad is what Safari could have been. Its nice for the small screen, but with more real estate they could have put it in.
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Old Mar 29, 2010, 01:16 PM   #4
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I don't really consider that tabbed browsing. It's "card-based" in my opinion. True tabbed browsing would have literally tabs on the same screen you could switch to/from. You have to go in and out of the main browser to switch "cards"
I don't really see much functional difference between having a tab interface always taking up screen space and having a tab interface that pops in when called. They still represent multiple open webpages in the same browser, which for all intents and purposes are "tabs".

In any case, this is a little off topic.
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Old Mar 29, 2010, 01:18 PM   #5
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I don't really see much functional difference between having a tab interface always taking up screen space and having a tab interface that pops in when called. They still represent multiple open webpages in the same browser, which for all intents and purposes are "tabs".

In any case, this is a little off topic.
It's not off-topic. You brought up the issue/comment. It's perfectly relevant. I just disagree with you. Tabs are tabs. Moving in and out of the program to switch pages isn't as fast or the same.
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Old Mar 29, 2010, 01:30 PM   #6
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It's not off-topic. You brought up the issue/comment. It's perfectly relevant. I just disagree with you. Tabs are tabs. Moving in and out of the program to switch pages isn't as fast or the same.
But you're not moving out of the program. In fact, the original open tab remains visible throughout the entire switching process. I'm not seeing any technical distinction besides the fact that there aren't links to each of your other open pages permanently on-screen.

And considering the topic is Safari's tab handling/loading on the iPad vs. iPhone, your discussion of whether or not mobile Safari's tabs should be called "tabs" is pretty much irrelevant. It's the same general user interface on each device.
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Old Mar 29, 2010, 01:35 PM   #7
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But you're not moving out of the program. In fact, the original open tab remains visible throughout the entire switching process. I'm not seeing any technical distinction besides the fact that there aren't links to each of your other open pages permanently on-screen.

And considering the topic is Safari's tab handling/loading on the iPad vs. iPhone, your discussion of whether or not mobile Safari's tabs should be called "tabs" is pretty much irrelevant. It's the same general user interface on each device.
You are calling them tabs. Whatever. Call it whatever you want. Just know that the majority of people, in MY opinion would disagree. I didn't say you're moving out of the program. I said you were moving out of the browser.

But perhaps your more concerned with being right and offended I questioned your terminology vs having the discussion you initiated. Have a great day.
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Old Mar 29, 2010, 02:01 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by samcraig View Post
Moving in and out of the program to switch pages isn't as fast or the same.
Quote:
Originally Posted by samcraig View Post
I didn't say you're moving out of the program.
My mistake!

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Have a great day.
Thanks; you too! You're welcome back any time.


For all those actually interested, I've attached some screen grabs of the new interface from the Guided Tour video:

Click image for larger version

Name:	tabs.PNG
Views:	712
Size:	968.5 KB
ID:	219893

I'll toss them up into the original post as well.
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Old Mar 29, 2010, 02:04 PM   #9
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The difference between you and I is that when I make a mistake, I admit it. I mistyped. I never meant to imply you're leaving the program but rather moving to a different screen and then BACK to the browser.

But you still want to be stubborn and call it tab browsing. Good luck with that.
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Old Mar 29, 2010, 02:14 PM   #10
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[this post reserved for admission, if I someday make a mistake]

See, we're not so different. Chin up.
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Old Mar 29, 2010, 04:35 PM   #11
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I think I prefer the way that Mobile Safari deals with tabs/cards/whatever. If the page appears as quickly as in the video then I don't see switching between pages being a problem. Plus you get to see a visual representation of your open pages instead of just the start of the page title.
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Old Mar 29, 2010, 05:06 PM   #12
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They do reload everytime you switch to one. It's in a hands on video already.
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Old Mar 29, 2010, 05:53 PM   #13
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[this post reserved for admission, if I someday make a mistake]

See, we're not so different. Chin up.
You argue well. *thumbs up*

I love the browsing but I think the no reloading thing was just a bit more RAM, I doubt it will do it for everything.
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Old Mar 29, 2010, 06:23 PM   #14
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There will likely be other browsers with a similar tabbed browsing functionality, but I prefer the previews of the web pages.
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Old Mar 29, 2010, 06:43 PM   #15
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Bummer about the reloading. I guess there is still hope that the (assumed) increase in RAM will allow the browser to go longer with "forgetting" about your tabs.

I'm guessing that will also limit the likelihood of background tab loading, too? I'm reminded of the recent announcement of Opera for the iPhone. Does anyone know if it was supposed to support background loading? I remember thinking that that was the only reason I could see to ever switch.
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Old Mar 29, 2010, 07:33 PM   #16
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This is what worries me about the iPad. They seemed to forget that technically the iPad should be faster and be able to handle more. Sure they "cosmetically" redid the major apps and so will others, but cosmetic != real usage.

All the technical limitations in the iPhone OS seems to have carried over into the iPad OS. It seems SJ and crew are only looking to visually change things up.
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Old Mar 29, 2010, 08:07 PM   #17
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Moving in and out of the program to switch pages isn't as fast or the same.
Well tabs just means multiple instances contained in a single window. There's no concept of windows on the iPhone OS, so there is no concept of tabs - so in that sense you're right.

But did you see the video? Clicking on the tabs button and loading one of the tabs is instant. You might think it's faster to reach over to your mouse and move the mouse cursor over to the tab you're looking for, but I'd be interested to see a more direct comparison, as I really don't believe it's much faster at all.
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Old Mar 29, 2010, 08:19 PM   #18
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In the same vein, any word or thoughts on whether tabs will be able to load in the background? When I'm visiting a slow site, I often like to load individual articles in tabs so I can continue reading the main page while they load. On the iPhone/iPod, this doesn't work since tabs don't load in the background, but again given the additional power of the iPad, maybe this will change?
You're wrong about the iPhone; tabs definitely load in the background. I have to assume the same is true about iPad.
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Old Mar 30, 2010, 12:24 AM   #19
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Tabs load in the background on my 3GS. They also stay put and I can switch between several even a few hours later. If I load up something like a big 3d game though, all bets are off.

It's a good idea to reboot your iPhone once a day to keep everything running smoothly. If I've been doing a ton of stuff like switching between tens of apps or haven't rebooted in awhile, things slow down a bit and tabs don't like to stick.
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Old Mar 30, 2010, 01:55 AM   #20
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They do reload everytime you switch to one. It's in a hands on video already.
I'm not sure that this is correct.
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Old Mar 30, 2010, 01:59 AM   #21
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who would want to click "tabs" with your finger on a 8-9 inch screen which are probably about 150x20 pixels?
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Old Mar 30, 2010, 02:16 AM   #22
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who would want to click "tabs" with your finger on a 8-9 inch screen which are probably about 150x20 pixels?
I've used the Safari browser in the iPad simulator quite a bit and switching tab cards, even using a mouse, seems quite intuitive. I'm sure it will be even faster with a finger.

I just finished watching all the guided tour videos and I'm getting super excited. Like before I was excited, but now I'm to the point where I almost can't stand it.
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Old Mar 30, 2010, 04:00 AM   #23
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It all depends on the users preferences.
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Old Mar 30, 2010, 11:18 AM   #24
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I've used the Safari browser in the iPad simulator quite a bit and switching tab cards, even using a mouse, seems quite intuitive. I'm sure it will be even faster with a finger.

I just finished watching all the guided tour videos and I'm getting super excited. Like before I was excited, but now I'm to the point where I almost can't stand it.
hmmmm, good reply, thanks.

are those videos really that good? i needa check em out. the iPad simulator had tab cards? how did that work?
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Old Apr 11, 2010, 05:14 AM   #25
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Has anyone found a workaround for Safari's lack of an "Open in Background" option? I assume Apple left that feature off since the iPad is a little light on RAM (presumably for cost and power consumption considerations), and can't preload too many pages simultaneously.

But a way to queue up links would be useful. As is, if I want to finish browsing a page before going to a number of other linked pages, I need to:

1 Tap-and-hold a link
2 Choose "Open in New Page"
3 Wait a second for the new page to start loading
4 Tap the window manager
5 Tap the original page
6 If the original page has a lot of content, wait for it to reload
7 Repeat steps 1-6 for each link

Step 6 is the most inconvenient: large pages with lots of images take a while to load and almost always need to reload even if only one other window has been opened.

I'm surprised there isn't an "Add to Queue" option in Safari's tap-and-hold context menu (with the "Queued" folder available through the bookmarks button).
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