Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Safari 11

Ricky Mondello:

Safari 11 on macOS blocks videos across the web from auto-playing. It gives you control over what sites are allowed to auto-play.

You can automatically use Safari Reader on some or all websites in Safari 11. Hold-tap or right click on the Reader button to turn this on.

Beyond auto-play and Reader, Safari 11 lets you customize other settings on a per-site basis, like use of content blockers and zoom level.

You can pick and choose which Reading List items are saved for offline reading in Safari 11 by swiping sideways on a Reading List item.

Safari on iOS 11 rationalizes the scrolling behavior between Safari, subframes in Safari, and apps. It feels really great.

iOS 11 revamps Safari View Controller with an appearance that looks more like an in-app browser. It feels more like an extension of an app.

Safari View Controller on iOS 11 also won’t surprise you by opening in Private Browsing while Safari is in Private Browsing. (Yay!)

Safari on iOS 11 will share the canonical link for a page, which can improve the experience of sharing a “mobile” website.

Safari 11 fixes an extensions memory handling issue that will make some websites (e.g. Google Docs) use much less memory.

iOS 11’s Password AutoFill for Apps makes it easier to log into apps using passwords saved in your iCloud Keychain.

If you need to look up a saved password on iOS 11, you can in the new Accounts & Passwords section of Settings. Or just search Settings.

Lots of good stuff here. I didn’t think Apple would ever embrace site-specific preferences, which I enjoyed many years ago in OmniWeb.

Unfortunately, since updating to Safari 11 I’m seeing a bug where opening links from other apps always switches to the Safari window in the leftmost space even if there’s one that’s open in the current space.

Previously: Safari’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention.

Update (2017-09-21): Jim Dalrymple:

Apple introduced a new technology to intelligently block browser cookies in Safari, which brought criticism from a number of advertising organizations. Apple believes in privacy with every product it makes, and the advertising groups want to track everything we do so they can sell ads.

Apple responded to that criticism this afternoon by fully explaining what they are doing for the consumer and standing up for themselves.

Ben Lovejoy:

What ITP means for consumers is that Safari will effectively forget which sites you’ve visited after a day. Net result: you’ll see fewer targeted ads, and more generic ones.


So personally, I want to allow third-party cookies to persist for the normal 30 days. But High Sierra won’t allow it. So despite strongly supporting the vast majority of Apple’s privacy initiatives, in this particular case, I think Apple has got it wrong.

See also: Hacker News.

Update (2017-09-22): Ricky Mondello:

Don’t know how I forgot this one! iOS 11: if a link opens in a new tab, you can swipe back to close it.

Update (2017-09-26): Juli Clover:

With the release of macOS High Sierra, Apple is now collecting data from the Safari browser using differential privacy technology, reports TechCrunch. Apple is aiming to gain information about browsing habits to help identify problematic websites that use excessive power or too much memory.

Update (2017-10-26): Kirk McElhearn:

A useful new feature in the latest version of Safari for macOS High Sierra is the ability to set permanent zoom for any website. If a site has fonts that are too small, or too large, you can change them, and ensure that every time you visit the site, the change will be remembered. Safari does this automatically, but you can control the zoom from the app’s preferences.

3 Comments RSS · Twitter

Indeed, lots of good stuff. As a Private Browsing user I especially like the fix to LocalStorage. However...

"Safari View Controller on iOS 11 also won’t surprise you by opening in Private Browsing while Safari is in Private Browsing. (Yay!)"

Instead, it will surprise you by not opening in Private Browsing.

Thus, the loss of a feature. The last mode of Safari (private or not) is a signal of user preference, and should be respected. Note, that if you never use Private Browsing at all, you won't be affected by this either way - but if you do, then we already know the user has made a conscious choice to use Private Browsing for at least some purpose.

Also: In exchange for the new tracking protection, we lost the setting entirely to block all third-party cookies (a stronger form of the default tracking protection). For those, like me, who went into Settings and turned this on, this is a step back.

I'm not seeing the Intelligent Tracking Protection in Safari 11. Where is this?

[…] Ricky Mondello, in a Twitter thread of notable Safari 11 improvements on MacOS and iOS (via Michael Tsai): […]

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