Safari Beta 4 ScreenshotSource: iMore

What you need to know

  • The fourth developer beta of iPadOS brings a macOS Monterey feature to the iPad.
  • The latest beta brings the redesigned Safari tab experience to the iPad.

When Apple announced macOS Monterey at WWDC21, the company unveiled a redesigned Safari with a completely new tab experience.

With the latest developer beta of iPadOS 15, which Apple released to developers earlier today, the company appears to be bringing that new experience to iPad users as well. The new experience breaks out tabs into a new look that turns them more into floating bubbles than tabs underneath the top view.

In addition to the redesigned Safari tabs coming to iPadOS 15, it appears that Apple has added the ability for users to tweak the experience. In the Safari section of the Settings app, users can choose whether to use the "Compact Tab Bar" or the "Separate Tab Bar."

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The "Compact Tab Bar" simplifies the user interface by incorporating the search functionality into each tab that you have open. The "Separate Tab Bar" will, as the name indicates, separate the search bar from your open tabs, a user experience similar to the current version of Safari on macOS and iPadOS.

Safari Settings ScreenshotSource: iMore

Apple has been hit with quite a lot of negative feedback for how it approached its redesign of Safari tabs in macOS Monterey. iMore's Oliver Haslam even went as far to call the redesign "user-hostile."

The problem isn't that the tabs are now on the same level as the address bar as such. Rather, it's that the tabs affect where the address bar lives. It moves around depending on which tab is active and if you have more than a couple of tabs open at once that address bar can move from far left to far right in one click. It's simultaneously everywhere and nowhere. And you're always chasing it.

Apple has already made one change with its tab redesign. The "Separate Tab Bar" originally wasn't an option, but Apple added it in a later version of the macOS Monterey beta and now the latest iPadOS 15 beta. We'll have to wait and see if the change satisfies users or if the company continues to backtrack with continued feedback.