08 Oct 2021 3:41 PM +00:00 UTC

iOS 15 Safari Changes Explained

The recent release of iOS 15 was accompanied by a raft of changes to Safari, which underwent a significant overhaul. If you've found yourself confused by the changes, or simply want to get a better handle on all the new features and functions, you're in the right place.

Jump To

For your delight and delectation, we've put together a guide to explain the iOS 15 Safari changes. Read on, to find out everything you need to know.

New Layout

click to enlarge
+ 4
Credit: Apple

Most immediately you'll notice a significant change to the layout of Safari on iOS 15. Very striking is the new location of the search bar. This now sits at the bottom of the screen, rather than the top. While this may seem jarring at first, it's far better for one-handed use. Now it's there, we're wondering why nobody else thought of it before now. Should you wish, you can revert to it being at the top.

Advertisement

Related: Why Are Graphics Cards, PS5s, and Xboxes So Expensive?

Navigation remains very simple. As you scroll on a page, the tab bar will minimize to the bottom of the screen. Simply swipe up or tap at the bottom to bring it back. If you want to refresh a page, swiping down from the top of the screen does this. The reload button is also there.

Tabs

Much like on Android devices, tabs can now be saved in Tab Groups, for easier navigation and organization. And your tab overview has changed dramatically. Gone is the Rolodex style set-up. Instead, tabs are now displayed in a grid, making it much easier to find out what's on each tab.

click to enlarge
+ 4
Credit: Apple

There's also a Landscape Tab Bar setting. So when your phone is in landscape orientation, the tab bar will look like it does on a Mac. All your open tabs will be on there.

Related: Why You Shouldn't Buy the iPhone 13

Advertisement

Privacy

click to enlarge
+ 4
Credit: Apple

Apple has made a lot of effort to improve the privacy on Safari, and there are a few key features worth mentioning. Firstly Safari in iOS 15 automatically upgrades sites to HTTPS where it can. This is more secure than HTTP.

Advertisement

In addition, there have been updates to Intelligent Tracking Prevention. This is a feature that prevents websites from tracking your activity online. Trackers are automatically prevented from accessing your IP address. Previously this information would have been used to build up a profile of you as a user.

Finally, iCloud Private Relay ensures that your Safari traffic is encrypted. Without getting bogged down in the detail, this sends traffic to an Apple server which then deletes the IP address before sending the traffic onwards. It goes to a 3rd-party server to receive another IP address, before being sent to its destination. This means no one can link the user's identity and the website they are visiting.

Related: Black Ops Cold War Season 5 Broke the Game, Will Season 6 Fix It?

Other Touches

click to enlarge
+ 4
Credit: Apple

There are some other neat additions as well. Safari in iOS 15 now supports web extensions, such as VPNs and content blockers. There is a feature called Shared With You, which detects links you've been sent in the Messages app, and other compatible social media apps. It then aggregates them all into one place so you don't miss any, and even tells you who sent you each link.

Website Tinting means that the address bar will match the colors of whatever website you are looking at so that it blends more into the background. As you can see, there are plenty of changes to Safari on iOS 15. With improvements to security, privacy, and layouts, Safari is arguably easier to use than ever.

Related: iPhone 13 120hz Explained: Is It Worth It?