Since the browser is being developed with Safari in mind, the main characteristics of the two browsers are similar. For example, Shiira employs private browsing options so that history and cookies are not recorded when activated. However, the search engines search field on the toolbar includes many search engines. Shiira also uses Cocoa programming to provide users with a customizable drawer extending from the left or right of the window. The drawer includes bookmarks, history, downloads, and an RSS reader. In version 2.0, the sidebar was replaced by a series of palettes opened and closed from the main window toolbar. Shiira natively supports in-browser PDF viewing.
The features of Shiira include appearance options. Users may switch between Aqua or Metal styles in addition to changing the buttons' appearances. However, in the current 2.0 release, changes in themes are, as yet, not available. Tabs are also customizable. Another option is "Tab Exposé", which acts much like the Exposé feature of Mac OS X; each tab is visible in its totality, enabling users to select the tab to which they wish to navigate. The 1.x releases of Shiira also have a page-turning effect for transitions between any two webpages; however, this was dropped from 2.x releases. The new interface in Shiira 2.0 can be set to display tabs as thumbnails along the bottom or sides of the window.
The latest release (version 2.3) requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later. Shiira 2.3 has not been tested on the latest versions of the OS, and has been reported to be buggy on OS X 10.5 and 10.6. The final release for OS X 10.3 was 1.2.2.