With the release of iOS 6, Apple introduced the new feature called iCloud tabs that allows you to sync the open tabs in Safari with your other iOS devices and with any Macs running OS X Mountain Lion with Safari. For example, let's say you were reading an article on a magazine website in Safari on your Mac at home, but before you finish reading it you have to leave to catch a train. As long as you leave your Safari window open on your Mac you can open Safari on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch on the train as long as you have an Internet connection and have instant access to the pages that are open on your computer and pick up where you left off.
So let's take a look at how to set this up. Now you can also sync between iOS devices only like in iPad and in iPhone, but if you want to sync with the desktop version of Safari it has to be on a Mac running OS X Mountain Lion. This feature is currently unavailable to Windows users. So here on my Mac I'm going to go to System Preferences and I'll select the iCloud. All you need to do here is check Safari. That gives me a message letting me know that the information on my Mac will be uploaded to iCloud and merged with the bookmark stored in Safari. If you're okay with that, click Merge.
And that's all the setup you need to do on the Mac. Now before we switch over to the iPhone, notice I have two tabs open in Safari on my Mac, I have the lynda.com blog page and I have Apple's iPhone features page. Okay so on my iPhone I go to Settings>iCloud and here I just flipped the Safari switch to on. Also here on my iPhone I get the message telling me my Safari data will be merged with iCloud. I'll tap Merge. And now if I open Safari and I go to my bookmarks, notice there's an iCloud tabs folder.
Selecting it shows me all the pages that are open on any of my devices that are using iCloud tabs on the same Apple ID. So in this case I see both my Mac and my iPad on which I had previously turned on iCloud tabs. So all I need to do is tap one of these items. And it opens up here in Safari and these tabs will all stay constantly in sync. So for example, if I browse to another page on lynda.com and then I go back to Safari on my Mac and click the iCloud button, I'll see the list of my devices here as well and here's the page I just opened on my iPhone.
So this is a really easy way to keep your browsing synced across your devices. Now if for some reason you don't want a page you're viewing on your Mac to show up on your iOS devices, you can either turn iCloud tabs off in System Preferences or temporarily enable private browsing by going to Safari>Private browsing. Click OK and with that turned on, any pages or tabs you open will stay on your Mac only and won't get synced to your devices. Now if you decide to turn iCloud tabs off on your iPhone or other iOS devices, again by going to Settings>iCloud and here I'll turn off Safari.
You'll see this message asking you what you want to do with any of the bookmarks and tabs you previously synced with your device. Keep on My iPhone, keeps everything as it currently is, meaning the pages you might have opened that were synced from your Mac will stay open in Safari, but you'll no longer be synced after that; or Delete from My iPhone will remove the data you synced over. But that's how to sync your browsing data between your Mac and your iOS devices using iCloud tabs.
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