iPhone Safari Tabs in iOS 5

Thomas Brand writes over on Egg Freckles:

I find the new tabs in iPad’s Safari frustrating. Not only do they take up more screen space, but the small X used to close tabs is hard to hit. I would much prefer to see the grid of pages from previous versions of Apple’s iOS operating system.

I agree that the tabs on the iPad are wasted space and would prefer having the previous grid of tabs. The one feature that I love though is the ability to tap and hold on links and open in the background. The setting that controls this can be found under Safari in the Settings app. Not only does this work on the iPad, but it also works on the iPhone!

iPad

Settings > Safari > General > Open New Tabs in Background

iPad Safari Settings

Tapping and holding on a link in Safari will now bring up the following menu of buttons:

iPad Link Tap and Hold

The Open in New Tab button will still open the link in a new tab, but will not switch to it.

iPhone

Settings > Safari > General > Open Links

iPhone Safari Settings

Tapping and holding on a link in Safari will now bring up the following menu of buttons:

iPhone Link Tap and Hold

Note the Open in Background button, which previously read Open in New Page.

Differences

It’s interesting that the iPhone button changes to say Background while the iPad button stays the same with or without the settings change. I think the iPad button should probably be Open in New Tab and Open in Background Tab depending on the setting.

Also nice is that the iPhone doesn’t waste space adding a tab bar, but keeps the old Pages button that brings up a list of Pages that can be swiped horizontally to switch.