Apple backpedals on almost all changes made to Safari

Macos Big Sur Preview Safari Hero
Macos Big Sur Preview Safari Hero (Image credit: Rene Ritchie)

What you need to know

  • Apple has added the old tab design for Safari back to macOS Monterey.
  • Users will seem to have the option to choose the more traditional layout or the new compact layout.
  • macOS Monterey will launch on Monday, October 25.

Spotted by John Gruber from Daring Fireball, Apple has seemingly restored tabs in Safari the way they currently are in macOS Big Sur for those who haven't updated to Safari 15.

It appears that the company has left the option to use the Compact mode introduced with the new Safari at WWDC back in June, but users now also have the option to use the more traditional Safari tab layout.

Didn't make today's event, for some reason, but the updated page for MacOS 12 Monterey (shipping next Monday) shows that Safari 15 has reverted to actual tabs instead of "tabs". Compact mode is still an option, which is great — the way this design should have been approached all along. Safari 15 on iPadOS 15.1 comes along for the ride too.We're left with one single design mistake in Safari 15 across all platforms: the close buttons for tabs being on the right instead of the left on iPhone. Pretty good outcome given what was shown back at WWDC.

The new Safari has been a major pain point for a lot of users who have been testing and running the latest generation of the browser. Apple took a lot of heat for the radical redesign which many determined to be less user friendly than the previous version of the long-standing default browser for the Mac, iPad, and iPhone.

Thankfully, it appears that when macOS Monterey launches next week users will have complete control over what kind of Safari they want to experience.

macOS Monterey will launch on Monday, October 25, the day before Apple releases its new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro and 3rd generation AirPods.

Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.