How Apple changed Safari in iOS 15
The birth of the new version of Apple’s browser was stormy and dramatic. Users were already ready to vote against it, “with their feet.” Leave Safari in any of the “normal browsers”. Apple had to accept it and give dissidents one more choice. All this was happening before our eyes, which could not but distract from other changes in Safari. They also wrote about them, but who is interested in changes in a software product from which they will have to abandon? What else has Apple changed in Safari, hiding behind the interface war? The Safari 15 browser for iOS and iPadOS was released a few days ago – it’s time to get to know it better.
Before we start getting to know the newborns, one cannot but say a few words about the interface war that ended with the armistice. The decision to redesign the Safari interface was not a change for the sake of change. The new interface was not sucked from the finger. From a user interface science perspective, modern browsers are not optimal. And the idea of applying science to browsers is literally in the air.
Google tried to do this a few years ago, but the project was closed. Apple, in spite of everything, realized its idea. Our habits are stronger than logic and advanced theories, but they change over time. If interface theorists aren’t wrong, sooner or later we’ll see the benefits of doing it right. Curiosity is invincible, the new interface will be tried again and again, gradually getting used to it. About the bottom tab bar (the so-called “correct” interface), for today, that’s it.
New features in Safari on iOS
Tabs in Safari 15 for iOS and iPadOS taught a few new tricks. The tricks are available regardless of the interface selected by the user. Tabs can now be combined into tab groups, which can be saved and, when a set of tabs is needed again, activate them with one touch. You can group tabs that you opened manually before starting work. The tabs are united by a common theme, such as preparing for a trip to a little-known area, purchasing equipment, looking for gifts, and whatever. A special screen is provided for browsing the tabs. It is impossible to overestimate the benefits of this feature, but groups of tabs can also be synced across multiple Apple devices – that is, by grouping tabs on iPad, you don’t have to group them again on iPhone.
The Safari start page for iOS and iPadOS is now customizable and customizable. Make it individual. You can, for example, choose a background image. Or choose from the list of interesting sections that will be displayed on the start page. For example, privacy report, Siri suggestions, and more. Like tab groups, the start page syncs with your other devices.
A search query in the browser can now be sent almost without touching the screen of a smartphone or tablet – by voice. In order for the browser to hear you, you need to touch the microphone icon on the tab bar. After that, you need to tell Safari what you would like to find. The result may be different – in response you will receive either a list of requests, in which you will only have to find the one that suits you and activate it with a touch, or you will immediately find yourself on the site you need. In the worst case, you will have to repeat your request, formulating it differently. Artificial intelligence is not an artificial intelligence after all, but an algorithm. By the way, they complain about the inaccessibility of this function. It doesn’t work for everyone. Not only on older iPhones, but also on “iPhones with Apple A12 Bionic or newer”. Bug?
Why Safari is better than other browsers
Safari 15 for iOS and iPadOS introduces new smart protection features. Apple believes that now no one can collect data on your IP. It is not known whether this will work in Russia. In addition, if the site you are trying to log into is not HTTPS, Safari will find out if the secure HTTPS protocol is supported by that site – and if so, uses it to load the page.
iOS 15 and iPad 15, with Live Text, can detect and recognize text in images. Including in images posted on the Internet. If the current version of Live Text knows the language of this text, you can also translate it. The first version of Live Text speaks English, Spanish, Italian, Chinese, German, Portuguese, and French. If the iPhone or iPad is set to Russian, the text in those languages will be translated into Russian.
Reload the page
In Safari 15 for iOS and iPadOS, a page reload can be activated not only by touching the reload button, but also by gesturing – pulling the page down from its top edge. Not a very important innovation, but I recommend trying it. This is great! Plus, Safari 15 for iOS and iPadOS introduces real web extensions. But they are a separate big topic.