Apple brings back standard Safari tab design in macOS release candidate

Posted:
in macOS edited October 18
Apple's latest macOS Monterey beta reverts Safari's controversial "compact" tabs design tweak to a more traditional layout seen in existing macOS versions.

Safari


Issued to developers on Monday, macOS Monterey's release candidate includes yet another Safari redesign that walks back user interface changes involving the web browser's tab design.

Initial versions of the next-generation Safari 15 included with early macOS Monterey beta releases featured relocated tabs, navigation controls and bookmarks bar. Apple put an emphasis on space savings in its early releases, ditching the traditional format for a design that delineated tabs as individual buttons separated by small spaces.

The changes, which included color matching for websites, were confusing for some testers who found it difficult to determine which tab was active when using Safari's Compact view. Apple began to revert some of the more drastic graphical modifications back to something closer to Safari's current design in recent betas, and completed the process on Monday by reinstating macOS Big Sur's tabs view as the system default.

Now referred to as "Separate" in Safari preferences, the default option brings back a traditional tab GUI that does away with the button-like design unveiled at WWDC last year. Those who prefer the new look can enable it by selecting "Compact" in preferences.

While Safari 15's design has gone full circle, new features like Tab Groups remain and are accessible in both "Separate" and "Compact" views.

Apple is due to release macOS Monterey on Oct. 25.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    netroxnetrox Posts: 1,095member
    I am absolutely thrilled because I cannot get over with that inconsistent tab design. It's so awkward and counterintuitive. 
    williamlondondarkvaderrcfa
  • Reply 2 of 14
    crowleycrowley Posts: 9,082member
    Oh thank heavens.
    rcfa
  • Reply 3 of 14
    jingojingo Posts: 106member
    netrox said:
    I am absolutely thrilled because I cannot get over with that inconsistent tab design. It's so awkward and counterintuitive. 
    Everything netrox said. 

    I cannot get used to the new design - the tabs are not in a position where they are quick to see, and just look like buttons rather than tabs. And I just find the current tab being darkened confusing. 
    williamlondon
  • Reply 4 of 14
    Love the extra screen space with the new tab bar, but learning new things can be difficult. ;-)
    minicoffeeAlex_V
  • Reply 5 of 14
    It’s refreshing to see Apple backtracking on terrible ideas. Be that the keyboard, the touch bar, ports, or terrible UI choices like this. 🙏🏻
    williamlondondesignrcat52
  • Reply 6 of 14
    No image? Really?
    napoleon_phoneapartcommand_fStrangeDays
  • Reply 7 of 14
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 1,808member
    jingo said:
    netrox said:
    I am absolutely thrilled because I cannot get over with that inconsistent tab design. It's so awkward and counterintuitive. 
    Everything netrox said. 

    I cannot get used to the new design - the tabs are not in a position where they are quick to see, and just look like buttons rather than tabs. And I just find the current tab being darkened confusing. 
    Yes the idea of the current tab in shadow but the background ones full brightness is just wrong. 
    command_f
  • Reply 8 of 14
    Apple only did this so that whining media pundits like John Gruber wouldn't have a heart attack.  :'(
    edited October 18 williamlondonlkruppcat52
  • Reply 9 of 14
    heli0s said:
    It’s refreshing to see Apple backtracking on terrible ideas. Be that the keyboard, the touch bar, ports, or terrible UI choices like this. 🙏🏻
    I really am sad to see the Touchbar go from the new MBPs.
    Alex_V
  • Reply 10 of 14
    Love the extra screen space with the new tab bar, but learning new things can be difficult. ;-)

    Agreed. I was happily able to “revert” to the new design after the latest update. I always thought that there was wasted space and duplication in the existing Safari toolbar and tabs layout: address bar at top and tabs below. Apple’s software is exemplary at utilising the screen real estate to the maximum, which is very welcome for using laptops.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 11 of 14
    Alex_V said:
    Love the extra screen space with the new tab bar, but learning new things can be difficult. ;-)

    Agreed. I was happily able to “revert” to the new design after the latest update. I always thought that there was wasted space and duplication in the existing Safari toolbar and tabs layout: address bar at top and tabs below. Apple’s software is exemplary at utilising the screen real estate to the maximum, which is very welcome for using laptops.
    The problem I have with these 'compact' layouts is that they leave very little handle space on the window. That makes it hard to move windows around without first thinking about where you can safely place the pointer.

    It's particularly noticeable if you sometimes use a second display (eg with a MacBook). When you return to the second display, macOS's lamentable multi-display handling often leaves only a small sliver of a window visible as it tries and fails to move it back onto the second display. You can end up with just a button and a thin margin visible and have to grab that thin margin to move the window.
    Alex_Vwilliamlondon
  • Reply 12 of 14
    command_f said:
    Alex_V said:
    Love the extra screen space with the new tab bar, but learning new things can be difficult. ;-)

    Agreed. I was happily able to “revert” to the new design after the latest update. I always thought that there was wasted space and duplication in the existing Safari toolbar and tabs layout: address bar at top and tabs below. Apple’s software is exemplary at utilising the screen real estate to the maximum, which is very welcome for using laptops.
    The problem I have with these 'compact' layouts is that they leave very little handle space on the window. That makes it hard to move windows around without first thinking about where you can safely place the pointer.

    On the new Safari it isn’t an insurmountable problem. I like the new design, but I acknowledge that we must get accustomed to the changes, as always. Freeing up screen real estate is a worthwhile goal.  It's been a conscious effort by Apple: tool bars, menus, and so forth. Apple’s software is far better in this respect than the awful Chrome, the stupid ribbon Microsoft’s Office products that takes up half a screen, etc.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 13 of 14
    command_f said:
    Alex_V said:
    Love the extra screen space with the new tab bar, but learning new things can be difficult. ;-)

    Agreed. I was happily able to “revert” to the new design after the latest update. I always thought that there was wasted space and duplication in the existing Safari toolbar and tabs layout: address bar at top and tabs below. Apple’s software is exemplary at utilising the screen real estate to the maximum, which is very welcome for using laptops.
    The problem I have with these 'compact' layouts is that they leave very little handle space on the window. That makes it hard to move windows around without first thinking about where you can safely place the pointer.

    It's particularly noticeable if you sometimes use a second display (eg with a MacBook). When you return to the second display, macOS's lamentable multi-display handling often leaves only a small sliver of a window visible as it tries and fails to move it back onto the second display. You can end up with just a button and a thin margin visible and have to grab that thin margin to move the window.
    I'm old enough to remember when multiple displays were handled brilliantly by the Mac, and we all laughed at Windows users for what they had to put up with. Now it seems like the shoe is on the other foot. Worse, I can't remember when it changed... Maybe around 10.9?
    williamlondon
  • Reply 14 of 14
    john f.john f. Posts: 110member
    Apple only did this so that whining media pundits like John Gruber wouldn't have a heart attack.  :'(
    I wouldn't wish anyone a heart attack, so good on Apple.
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