Apple fixed its macOS Monterey Safari mistake and deserves credit for that

macOS Monterey preview
macOS Monterey preview (Image credit: Bryan M. Wolfe / iMore)

Yesterday, Apple released the third developer beta of macOS Monterey. Normally, that wouldn't be that big of a deal, but this time was different. That's because Apple fixed Monterey's Safari tab problem — and it should be given credit for that.

I've been vocal about the problems macOS Monterey's Safari redesign caused. I hated the way Safari worked in developer betas 1 and 2 and I know I wasn't alone. But with the arrival of beta 3, Apple has changed the way Safari handles tabs, moving them below the address bar while still managing to retain some of the overall look it tried to create the first two times out. It looks good, too. Really good.

And more importantly, it works.

I tweeted this morning that it took just a couple of hours to feel right back at home after installing developer beta 3. You'd be amazed how much more comfortable I am doing all the most basic things we do with tabs in a modern browser. Opening new ones, closing some, rearranging others. Moving them from one window to another. It's all so much easier and completely undoes the regression we saw with earlier macOS Monterey betas.

Well done to whoever backtracked to get this beta out the door.

And I mean that. Backtracking on a major redesign like the one Safari undertook isn't easy. I'm absolutely sure the people behind the design were excited for us to see it during WWDC and they must have been dismayed at the response it got. But that's what betas are for and the reason redesigns like the one Safari went through need to be seen by a ton of people to know whether they'll work or, as in this case, they won't. Taking on all of the feedback and then coming back with something so great after just two more betas can't have been easy — both technically and mentally. Top marks to whoever swallowed their pride to get Safari back into shape.

I, for one, can't thank you enough.

It's still pretty early days, too. It's still a couple of months at least before I'd expect macOS Monterey to be pushed to the App Store as a finished product. We'll see plenty more betas between now and then — let's just hope nothing else goes awry between now and then. Something tells me we won't see too many more massive changes between now and then.

The last few months of this year are going to be busy, with new iPhones, new Apple Watches, and possibly even new Macs. Don't want to wait until then? There are still some great iPhone deals to be had on current models like iPhone 12.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.