Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Safari 5: Reader Feature Changing How We Read

I can enough about Safari. Version 4 was pretty good when it came out but with Google doing a great job innovating with Chrome and, let's be honest, really out paced every veteran browser on the market.

But with Safari 5, Apple has signaled to the world that it intends to compete in the browser market. Forget about extension support. Been here, done that as far as the browsing experience goes.

It's the Reader feature that has changed to game now. And it has the markets backpedaling. And I do mean markets. Reader basically strips away the nonessentials like ads and visual distractions on a webpage and intelligently displays the main article or content in a pop-up screen.

In Apple's words, "Safari Reader removes annoying ads and other visual distractions from online articles. So you get the whole story and nothing but the story. It works like this: As you browse the web, Safari detects if you’re on a web page with an article. Click the Reader icon in the Smart Address Field, and the article appears instantly in one continuous, clutter-free view. You see every page of the article — whether two or twenty. Onscreen controls let you email, print, and zoom. Change the size of the text, and Safari remembers it the next time you view an article in Safari Reader."

First, the advertising market. Web operators are still going to get the views but click-throughs might go down. How will this affect ad revenues? Safari 5 has only been out about 24 hours. I think users are still trying to get used to Reader and it is unclear how the online ad guys are reacting to this.

With Reader, Apple is able to provide users with a great non-distractive way to consume text while potentially hurt it's main competitors in the battle for the future of computing, Google and Microsoft.

For the publishing and content market, this is a potential game-changer if not a wake up call. Any Internet property that relies on ad revenue may be affected. At the very least, they need to figure out other sources of revenues.

For me, I found myself loving the Reader feature very very much as it makes it easier for me to concentrate and see how long the article or post really is without the trappings of modern Web payout like videos, ads, and other miscellaneous links that are not pertinent to the article.

Note: I can't wait to see if this makes it into iOS 4 or not.

-- Post From My iPad

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