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Safari 15

Apple has released Safari 15 for macOS 11 Big Sur and 10.15 Catalina with several new features, faster performance, and security updates—it’s also the version that will ship with macOS 12 Monterey soon. (See “Hot New Features in Safari in iOS 15 and iPadOS 15,” 23 September 2021, for more details, most of which carry over to the Mac version.) The revised Web browser introduces Tab Groups to help you with tab organization and provide access across devices. Apple also redesigned Safari’s tabs to have a rounder, more defined appearance. The entire top of the window can also take on the color of the current tab’s Web page. Happily, you can turn the colorization option off in Safari > Preferences > Tabs, and if you want more screen real estate devoted to the Web page, there’s a compact tab bar option there too. Finally, Safari 15 automatically switches sites from HTTP to more secure HTTPS when available and provides four WebKit-related security updates. You can download Safari 15 only via Software Update. (Free, 121.9 MB, macOS 11 and 10.15)

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Comments About Safari 15

Notable Replies

  1. I absolutely hate having the Favorites Bookmarks under the tabs.

    Who was asking for that?

    Literally no one.

    It looks dumb and serves no purpose.

  2. The new “skinning” by website manages to be so ugly that Chrome/Brave look good by comparison. Never thought I’d see that …

  3. I upgraded to Safari 15 because I wanted to start playing with tab groups across my iPad and computers. One thing that I found to be a necessity was to go to Safari->Preferences->General and turn off ‘Show color in tab bar’. If you want to see why, open the Rolling Stone website (a popular entertainment website) after upgrading.

    By the way, it appears that one can only deal with individual tabs within tab groups. I would like to do is be able to move groups of tabs (not individual tabs) between tap groups and be able to merge tab groups. Hopefully that will be possible at some point.

  4. Wow … so right. The RS site is ghastly. Thanks for finding the “off” switch for me. Missed it this morning.

  5. I can’t find this option in Safari->Preferences->General

    Safari Version 15.0 (16612.1.29.41.4, 16612)

  6. It’s in Safari → Preferences → Tabs, not General.

  7. Yes, I hate the very idea of this feature, the browser UI belongs to me, not each site I visit. If it only worked, say, when a site is opened as a Progressive Web App (PWA) on a phone, I’d be okay with that.

  8. Regarding Safari’s UI taking on the color of a site, sites can specify this using a new theme-color meta element, TidBITS.com has <meta name="theme-color" content="#80298e">. You can even set different colors depending on whether the user has Dark Mode enabled or not.

    However, if such an element isn’t set, Safari will still change the UI based on a color in the page. The background color of the entire page is a likely one it will choose but I’ve also seen it choose the background color of the header. The only way I’ve found for a site to prevent Safari from picking a color is to set one, e.g. <meta name="theme-color" content="white">.

    Meta elements are typically in the <head> of a page, not the rendered body, but they can be anywhere. Safari seems to use the first one it finds but if a site didn’t have one and didn’t “sanitize” such elements out of user comments and such, a malicious one could be added like <meta name="theme-color" content="rgba(255,255,255,0.0)">. It only affects that tab and pages in which the element is found but it would likely flummox some users who might click the red dot to close the entire window, losing the other open tabs.

  9. Interesting! I’ll have to ask our developer to remove that. I wonder what else might use that theme-color. Thanks for the tip.

  10. Creating a bookmark for certain sites causes Safari 15 to crash.

    I first noticed it setting up a new MacBook Pro, and the user said she experienced something similar.

    To test, I was working on a new iMac and tested bookmarking the site that was crashing on the MBP, it was fine with 14.2 but the moment I updated to 15 it crashed.

  11. Can you share links to the sites?

  12. Not seeing the tab option on my catalina box running the new Safari. An issue that I have with the new Safari is using it with the SiriusXM site. Before, I’d click a favorite and it would autoplay and I’d hear the music. Now, clicking does not autoplay and when I click play, I get no audio out. Still works fine with Firefox and Opera.

  13. So what in the world does “Automatically collapse tab titles into icons” do?

  14. I agree, I don’t like it.

    Which is why I chose “Compact”. At least that way I benefit from their decision to move tabs above favorites in the sense that I can get rid of a third of the top window bar.

    I’m no fan of truncated URLs and tab titles either, but even if I choose “Separate” I don’t get to see much more of the URL, so I might as well just enjoy seeing more content and less overhead with only two bars at the top instead of three (I detest MS’ approach to push 13 ribbons in your face leaving about 3/4 inch for content). Now that said, even in the “Compact” layout, it would make sense IMHO to have favorites on top. Perhaps that’s not conventional, but having favorites wedged between the URL of the page you’re on (along with widgets to manipulate it, such as back/forward) and the content of that page just makes no sense to me.

    I have this nagging suspicion this is a byproduct of trying to align macOS safari with iOS Safari. Making overhead small is paramount on iOS. On macOS we have much more space so why screw around with something that wasn’t broken? Designs should be able to exploit each platform’s different capabilities but also address each one’s requirements separately. Commonality across platforms should take 2nd seat to that IMHO.

  15. Really hate that Apple has apparently eliminated the History groupings by date, e.g. Earlier Today and then the previous 6 days. Love to figure out some way to restore this functionality.

  16. In my setup (Safari 15, macOS 11.6), the History drop-down menu shows Earlier Today and the previous six days.

    Also, Show All History (Command-Y) has Last Visited Today, then every day since August 25, which may be when I last cleared History.

  17. Thanks. Looks like I posted too soon, as the menu has magically reappeared as of yesterday.

  18. nls

    It defies logic.
    When we organize, we start at the top with the general and then go down to the specific. This is a “rule” of logical thinking.
    It makes absolutely no sense to put Favorites under tabs.
    Ditto the stupid flip-flopping of the color at the top - it has the effect of a flashy effort to emphasize the trivial over the significant.
    I thought that artsy guy who for several years made us suffer with thin grey print on white backgrounds had retired.
    It took me a week to figure out that I could put a halt to this clownishness in Safari Preferences. If I hadn’t I’d be looking to switch to a different Mac browser by now.

  19. I’m that weird person, I guess, who likes favorites under tabs. (Honestly I don’t care either way to be honest. If it was back above that would be fine, too). I prefer the chrome of the older design (tabs are just awful right now), but I honestly didn’t even remember that favorites were above tabs. I guess I get accustomed to interfaces quickly. Favorites under tabs means that I need to do slightly less mouse movement when I use the favorite bar (which I do a lot.) But it’s really not that much of a difference.

    I just checked - favorites are below tabs on both Firefox and Chrome. This is really just the standard design, isn’t it?

  20. Firefox and Chrome go even further, they put the tabs above the address bar. Firefox made that change just this year, I don’t know how long it’s been that way in Chrome. Chrome is by far the most popular browser, I guess Firefox and Safari are just following their example.

  21. In Safari Technology Preview, the Favorite Bookmarks don’t show up at all. You have to go to “Show Sidebar” and click on Bookmarks to see favorites. It is why I am not switching to Safari 15. Please let me know if I am missing something.

  22. There is a Show/Hide toggle in the View menu for whether the Favorites Bar is visible in a Safari window. That toggle has always been there, but the location of the Favorites bar changes in Safari 15 to be under the Tab Bar rather than above it. Note that you can actually show the content of any Bookmarks folder in the Favorites Var. You control that via the ‘Favorites shows’ preference in the General tab of Safari Preferences.

  23. Pls forgive me for not reading the whole thread … has anyone crashed Safari the following way already?

    Steps to reproduce:

    • One Safari window (I don’t know whether it “works” with more windows also)
    • At least one pinned tab (I have ten)
    • Active tab is a “normal” tab (i.e. not one of the pinned tabs)
    • Close tab with cmd+W (which also closes the window)
    • Try to re-open last closed tab with cmd+shift+T
    • BOOM

    Not me. I hate this also, feels totally wrong.

    <edit>

    I made a quick’n’dirty mockup of how I’d want it to be (even saves about two dozen pixels in height):

    click to see it

    Top is how it is now, bottom puts the favourites back where they belong.

    </edit>

  24. Anybody else observing URL bar entries not appear? You can type and what you type is being registered (I see updating suggestions), but there’s no displayed text or cursor. A Safari restart usually fixes it, for a few hours. I’m using the Compact option, wonder if that’s related.

  25. In Safari I used to be able to drag the URL from the URL bar to my desktop to create a webloc file. Now when I do that it drags the tab out into its own window. If I then click on the page icon next to the URL and drag that out to the desktop I finally get the webloc file.

    Any tricks as to how to get the webloc file by a direct drag rather than first having to open the tab in its own window?

  26. I’m not sure what you’re seeing.

    If I drag the tab, it opens in a new window.
    If I click in the URL bar, then drag either the URL or the icon to the desktop, I get a webloc file as before.

    Are you definitely dragging from the URL entry, not the tab?

  27. I’m assuming you’re not using Compact mode. If Compact is selected, tab and URL bar are the same thing. That’s the root of the whole issue.

  28. I do not use the compact layout for Safari since I often have 20-40 tabs available on a window and also like having multiple toolbar icons. One thing I found confusing is that Safari defaults to showing the tab bar, even if only one tab is actually available. I found that I often tried to enter a new URL there rather than in normal area among the toolbar icons. I had no problem when multiple tabs were available. However, there is an ‘Always Show Tab Bar’ setting in the View dropdown menu that can be toggled off, solving the problem.

  29. I’m not, but I just enabled it. If I click once in the tab, so the URL is shown, I can then drag it to get a webloc.

  30. Interesting. That’s apparently the change. Now the URL text has to be clicked on first, and only then once it’s showing selected, can it be dragged. Thank you.

  31. I just tried it. For me:

    • In “Separate” tab mode:
      • I can drag from the left edge of the location bar (where the “Add page to reading list” icon appears, which is also where the icon appears if I start editing the URL) to put a webloc on the drop-point.
      • Dragging from any tab simply opens the tab in a new window (or merges it back to an existing window)
    • In “Compact” tab mode:
      • If I click on the tab so I can start editing the URL, I can drag selected URL text, creating a webloc for only the selected text
      • Dragging anything else opens the tab in a new window (or moves it to an existing window if I drop it on another window’s tab-bar)

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