During the WWDC21 keynote, Apple previewed a new Safari look alongside macOS 12 Monterey. Now, four months after beta testing started, the RC version of the software comes with a more traditional Safari look.

As spotted by Daring Fireball, the macOS 12 Monterey page on Apple’s website reveals that Safari 15 features “tabs that look like tabs.” 9to5Mac has also confirmed that this change is present in the latest macOS Monterey beta.

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 

If you remember, Apple introduced a new streamlined tab bar that was designed to take up less room on the page, as well as to adjust to match the colors of each site, extending your web page to the edge of the window. Unfortunately, people didn’t seem to like it and beta over beta, Apple started to change this approach.

By August, the company brought back the old Safari look. In the settings, beta testers could change between “Compact” and ‘Separate” designs. Now, with macOS Monterey launching next Monday, the traditional Safari design will be default while this “Compact” version will be optional.

Apart from that, still, there’s a lot changing with Safari. For example:

  • Integrated Smart Search field: Search from your active tab with the integrated Smart Search field. Click the website’s name to expand and reveal the page’s full address or type your search right into the name field.
  • Tab groups: Intelligent Tracking Prevention now also prevents trackers from profiling you using your IP address.
  • Redesigned tabs: Tabs have a rounder and more defined appearance, making them easier to work with. Tabs fluidly adapt as you add more, shrinking or stretching to fit the page.
  • Redesigned sidebar: Manage your tab groups, bookmarks, Reading List, and Shared with You links in the redesigned sidebar.

iCloud Private Relay, which is another major feature coming to macOS Monterey got delayed and will be launched as a beta feature. Private Relay is a service that lets you connect to virtually any network and browse with Safari in a more secure and private way. It ensures that the traffic leaving your device is encrypted so no one can intercept and read it. 

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