“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.”
The feature works well, but the “Reader” option is not always available. It’s quite difficult to detect news articles and to extract their content, so Safari’s heuristics are far from perfect. Safari Reader is especially useful for sites that split articles into multiple pages to increase the number of page views. Some of these sites offer a printer-friendly version of the article, but that’s usually difficult to read.
If you’re using Google Chrome, there’s an extension called Readability Redux which offers similar features. Firefox users can install the Readability extension. Both extensions are based on the Readability project, whose goal is to make “reading on the Web more enjoyable by removing the clutter around what you’re reading”.
Notably, both the Opera and Safari web browsers beat Google’s own Chrome browser in the test. As you can see in the picture above, Opera is the clear leader, with only 78 failures (the closer to the center, the less errors). Safari came in second with 159 errors, with Chrome in third with 218 errors. Firefox is close behind with 259 errors, while Internet Explorer is the outlier with 463 errors.
These tests were run on Windows machines, with the latest released version of each browser. Using the web tool on my Mac, though, shows similar results (at least for Opera, Chrome, Safari, and Firefox — there is no IE for Mac anymore).
Speaking of IE9, I tried to run the Sputnik tool in the preview build of the new browser on Windows 7. Unfortunately, it completely shut down several times after getting up to about 50 failures after only a few hundred of the 5,000+ tests — not a good sign. But again, it’s just a very early preview release of the browser, and early SunSpider results for the browser have been good.