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Safari 5 aims to simplify Web reading

John D. Sutter
The new version of Safari incorporates a "reader" button, which simplifies online news articles.
The new version of Safari incorporates a "reader" button, which simplifies online news articles.
  • Apple launches a new version of its Web browser, Safari 5
  • The browser aims to simplify internet browsing with tools to remove clutter
  • Safari is only the fourth largest Web browser
  • Microsoft's Internet Explorer is by far the leader in terms of market share

(CNN) -- Apple launched a new version of its Web browser this week. Safari 5 claims to be faster than its predecessors, and it aims to make the online reading experience clutter-free and less stressful.

The browser's new "reader" function strips online news articles of their banners, graphics and ads. It makes all text the same size and puts the stories in one easy-to-read font, which stays consistent regardless of the website.

"You get the whole story and nothing but the story," Apple says.

To accomplish this, Safari seemingly mimics an independent tool, called Readability, which can be installed into other browsers.

In Firefox, for instance, you can add a Readability link to your bookmark's toolbar. Then when you want to remove the clutter from an online news article, just click the button and -- voila! -- everything but the simplified text disappears.

For another cool online reading tool, check out Instapaper, which lets you save articles to "read later" in a simplified format.

The new version of Apple's Safari also includes more support for HTML5, a coding language that Apple has touted over Adobe Flash. Apple no longer supports Flash on its popular mobile devices like the iPad. It has a "Nitro Engine," which Apple claims makes Safari faster than its competitors when used on a Mac.

A PC version is also available.

Safari is far from the leader in the Web browser world, however.

According to Net Applications, Microsoft's Internet Explorer still makes up about 60 percent of the market. Firefox is next with about 25 percent. Safari ranks fourth, behind Google Chrome, with less than 5 percent of browser use.

If you try Safari 5 out -- it's free, by the way -- let us know what you think in the comments section below. To use the new Reader function, pull up an article in the browser and click the button that says "reader," next to the website address.


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