Tuesday, Jun 08, 2021, 12:11 Software

Safari In iOS 15 And iPadOS 15: Lots Of New Features

During the presentation of macOS 12, iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 at the beginning of the World Wide Developers Conference, Apple also introduced a new version of its in-house browser. The company has thoroughly revised Safari and equipped the app with several new features and a renovated user interface. The mobile versions have been adapted to the specifics of smartphones and tablets, but as always, they resemble the Mac edition.

New tab bar and grouping of web pages.
Common to all three future versions is a completely new tab bar. While this can be found at the top of the app window on the Mac and iPad, Apple places it at the very bottom on the iPhone. On the smartphone, the overview of the currently open websites disappears after a short time and makes room for the content. It can be made visible again with a tap, and you can navigate through the tabs with the corresponding horizontal swipe gestures. Furthermore, tabs can be combined into groups. Apple has also integrated the search function into the table bar and streamlined the input field, which is also responsible for the URL. On the iPhone, Safari also includes a grid overview with all open tabs; on the iPad, a revised sidebar is available.

Enhanced anti-tracking and HTTPS auto-tracking.
More security and privacy is offered by Safari not only through the paid feature called iCloud Private Relay, which will be available in the fall. The browser will also get enhanced anti-tracking by default. This is to prevent websites from creating user profiles using the IP address, even if Apple's new VPN service is not used. In addition, Safari automatically invokes web pages using HTTPS when the browser detects that the server supports such an encrypted connection.

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Web Extensions and Custom Home Page
On iPad and iPhone, starting with iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, it is possible for the first time to increase the functionality of Safari with extensions and to access additional features. Developers can provide corresponding web extensions in the iOS App Store. Another new feature is the voice search, which can be activated with a tap on the microphone icon in the tab bar. In addition, the home page can be individually configured, for example, with a custom background image. Additional information can also be placed there, such as Siri suggestions or the new privacy overview. This setting is synchronized on all devices linked to the user's Apple ID. Last but not least, Apple has added a feature to Safari that has been standard in most apps and browsers for ages: Pages can be refreshed with the familiar vertical swipe gesture.

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