Safari 15.1 reverses controversial design changes for macOS Big Sur and Catalina

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Safari 15.1 design
Safari is back to its best.
Screenshot: Cult of Mac

After Apple finally decided to reverse its controversial Safari design changes in the latest macOS Monterey beta (when you use the “Separate” tabs option), it has made the same move for those running macOS Big Sur and Catalina.

The Safari 15.1 update released Wednesday for earlier versions of macOS brings back Safari’s old tab design. However, if you prefer the new “Compact” interface — introduced at WWDC 2021 back in June — you still have the option to use it.

Today in Apple history: OS X Panther claws its way onto Macs

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Mac OS X Panther brings Exposé and other new features.
OS X Panther brought cool new features to Macs.
Screenshot: Gudebookgallery/Apple

October 25 Today in Apple history: Mac OS X Panther arrives on Macs October 25, 2003: Mac OS X Panther arrives on Macintosh computers, bringing several useful new features.

The new Exposé feature lets users instantly view all open windows at once. The new iChat AV allows people to talk with audio and video as well as text. Plus, the Mac OS upgrade makes Safari Apple’s default web browser for the first time.

Apple walks back many contentious Safari for Mac changes

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Apple walks back most Safari for Mac redesign changes
If you wish, you can make Safari in macOS Monterey look like it does in macOS Big Sur.
Photo: Apple

Apple threw in the towel on its efforts to change the way Mac users interact with the Safari web browser. Most of the design modifications unveiled at this summer’s Worldwide Developers Conference to emphasize tabs are now completely optional as a result of protests from beta testers.

The latest revisions appear in the release candidates for macOS Monterey, which went to developers Monday.

This simple extension fixes one of Safari 15’s biggest frustrations

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ActiveTab extension for Safari 15
That's more like it.
Screenshot: Cult of Mac

After installing Apple’s newest Safari 15 update, many Mac users quickly noticed that it’s too damn difficult to identify which tab is active. It’s one of the biggest complaints (on a list of many) regarding the browser’s big redesign.

But there’s an easy way to fix it. One developer has created a simple Safari extension called ActiveTab that makes it much easier to see which tab you’re currently using at a glance by drawing a customizable colored line beneath it.

Safari 15 frustrates macOS users with a plethora of bugs

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Safari 15 on macOS
Frequent crashes have become the norm for some users.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

If you haven’t yet upgraded to Safari 15 for macOS, you’re one of the lucky ones. The latest version of Apple’s web browser is frustrating users with a plethora of bugs that cause repeated crashes. However, there are fixes you can try.

Safari 15 comes bundled with macOS Monterey, which is still in beta testing ahead of its public debut later this fall. It’s also available as a standalone upgrade for those running macOS Big Sur and Catalina.

Latest iOS 15 beta lets users move Safari Address Bar to the top of the screen

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Latest iOS 15 beta lets users move Safari Address Bar to the top of the screen
The latest iOS 15 beta gives users the option to have the Address Bar at the top of the screen or at the bottom.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple hoped to redesign the Safari web browser in iOS 15 by moving the Address bar to the bottom of the screen. But there was so much pushback from beta testers that the latest prerelease version includes the option to move the Address Bar back to the top. iPhone users can still keep it at the bottom, though.

And there’s also a much-requested design change for those who decide to keep the Address Bar at the bottom.

A little iPadOS 15 change brings big improvement

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A little iPadOS 15 beta 5 change brings big improvement
App icons are larger and easier to use in iPadOS 15.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Sometimes in life, it’s the little things. iPadOS 15 makes one of those small changes that bring a big result. For the first time, you can increase the size of the application icons on the iPad Home Screen.

This setting debuts in iPadOS 15 beta 5, released on Tuesday. This is one of a few other tweaks in the latest pre-release version.

Latest iPadOS 15 beta makes big changes to Safari

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Latest iPadOS 15 beta makes big changes in Safari
Apple isn’t exactly walking back some of the biggest changes in iPadOS 15. But it’s giving users to option to do so.
Screenshot: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apparently responding to criticism of the Safari redesign in iPadOS 15, a beta released Tuesday makes significant changes to the layout of the Safari web browser. The newest iteration gives users the option to view the Address Bar very much like it looks in iPadOS 14. But those who prefer can keep the new compact view.