Safari 12 on macOS 10.14 Mojave and iOS 12 includes a host of changes, such as intelligent tracking prevention improvements, automatic strong passwords, security code autofill, extension changes, and more. During a session at WWDC entitled “What’s new in Safari and WebKit,” Apple dove deeper into these improvements…
First and foremost, Apple revealed that Safari 12 blocks support for legacy Safari extensions that come from outside the Safari Extensions Gallery. The Safari Extensions Gallery was originally introduced in 2010 as a one-stop-shop of sorts for extensions. 8 years later, however, Apple is beginning the process of deprecating the platform.
With Safari 10, Apple expanded its Safari App Extension Platform. These extensions are distributed through native Mac applications, and Apple says they are much more secure and lightweight. They don’t see any web browsing details, and because they run through the native Mac app, they put much less of a strain on memory and CPU performance. Safari 12 pushes developers even more towards this platform.
By deprecating legacy Safari Extensions, Apple is pushing developers to transition to Safari App Extensions – which, again, are offered through traditional Mac apps via the Mac App Store.
Apple says it will continue to accept new submissions to the existing Safari Extensions Gallery through the end of 2018. It warns, however, that it will eventually transition away entirely from the Gallery platform.
Shloka Kini, Developer Publications team member at Apple, explains:
We’ll continue to accept submissions to the Gallery until the end of 2018. However, we will be coming up with more updates in the following year. And will eventually transition entirely to Safari App Extensions. So the best thing for you to do is learn how to develop extensions in [Safari App Extensions and Content Blockers].
Elsewhere during the session, Apple detailed its new automatic strong password format. The company says that by default, auto-fill passwords are 20 characters long with upper-case, lower-case, digits, and hyphens. Web developers, however, can use the “passwordrules” attribute to add additional requirements for passwords on their websites.
Furthermore, Safari 12 includes support for developers to add custom drag and drop features on their website, full screen APIs on iPad, AR models using USDZ, and easier Apple Pay support with the Payment Request API.
Apple also explained how developers can use responsive design to optimize their websites for Apple Watch:
If you use responsive design, we do all the work for you and your websites are going to look great on watchOS. But, if you would like to further optimize your webpages for Apple Watch, there’s a video for designing websites for Apple Watch in the WWDC app.
The full “What’s new in Safari and WebKit” session can be viewed here.
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