Archive for June 17, 2021

Thursday, June 17, 2021

macOS 12: Localized Keyboard Shortcuts

Thomas Clement:

If you are using a non-US keyboard, prepare yourself to relearn a number of keyboard shortcuts in Monterey as the OS now translates shortcuts to the position of the key on the keyboard rather than the actual shortcut key.

Some seem uncomfortable with the idea but it actually fixes a number of shortcuts that were picked only because they work nicely on a US keyboard layout but are not so great or even terrible on other layouts. But yes this is going to be confusing and disrupting for awhile.

Actually some of the key translations do not preserve the position on the keyboard and pick some other keys. For example ‘cmd ;’ translates to ‘cmd )’ for me which are different keys on the keyboard. I’m not sure what the logic is.

Most disturbing thing is it translates ‘cmd 0’, ‘cmd 1’ and ‘cmd 2’ to ‘cmd À’, ‘cmd &’ and ‘cmd É’.

These are the same hardware keys but without having to hold shift which is ok but this also breaks using the numeric keypad.

Peter Kamb:

I guess that is discussed at 5:23 in “What’s new in AppKit”, although I didn’t realize until right now that it would mess with my Dvorak standard shortcuts.

Thomas N:

Dvorak should not be impacted, nor ⌘C. The localization is about previously unreachable shortcuts like ⌘[ in French :)


Safari 15 Announced

Tim Hardwick:

In addition, a new tab design on macOS puts your active tabs front and center, allowing you to see more of the page as you scroll. At the same time, the new tab bar takes on the color of the webpage and combines tabs, the tool bar, and the search field into a single compact appearance.

On iPad, the new tabs design and tab groups work just like on Mac, with instant syncing across devices. On iPhone, the new tab bar appears at the bottom under your thumb with a tap, and it’s possible to swipe between them, or swipe up into a grid view.

Stephen Hackett:

To further minimize Safari’s UI, the tab bar and address field have been collapsed into one new user interface. When a tab is active, it expands into a full address field. Taken all together, Safari looks radically different than before[…]

I think I like the changes for iPhone. The controls are easier to reach at the bottom of the screen, and it’s quicker to switch between tabs.

For Mac, the new design makes no sense to me, and I’ll likely switch to Chrome if it can’t be disabled:

The purported benefit of all this is that you get slightly more vertical space to devote to the page content. I don’t think it’s worth the tradeoffs. If I wanted to save vertical space I would put the tabs in the sidebar (like in Edge), which would also make it easier to see their titles when there are lots of them.


Jason isn’t mad at Safari, just disappointed.

Steven Shen:

New #Safari tab design on #iPadOS15 (9.7-inch, 50-50 Split View) is completely unusable.

Jen Simmons and Jon Davis:

There’s a lot of news coming out of WWDC21 about WebKit and the web technology that’s shipping in Safari 15 on Apple’s platforms. Many of the new features were announced on Monday, at this year’s WWDC21 Keynote, and listed in the Safari 15 Beta Release Notes. But that’s not all, and we’re excited to share it with you.

Filipe Espósito (Hacker News):

Web browser extensions are used to add more features to a browser, with things like ad blockers, VPNs, password managers, and much more. Previously restricted to Safari on the Mac, web browser extensions are now coming to Safari on the iPhone and iPad with iOS 15.

Developers will now be able to create universal extensions that work on Mac, iPhone, and iPad with the new software available later this year.

Sami Fathi:

On iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS Monterey, Safari will automatically upgrade web connections for sites to the HTTPS protocol, in the case they’re loaded in HTTP.

Saagar Jha:

Quiz: one of these windows is in Private Browsing, and one isn’t. Which one is which?

Jeff Nadeau:

Cmd-Shift-Up/Down move through tab groups, and Left/Right moves between tabs. This lets you navigate through tabs and groups like they’re a 2D matrix.

Alexander Käßner:

You can use (at least) one of these ways to colorize the Safari 15 toolbar:

apply a "background-color" to <body>


<meta name="theme-color" content="#000">

See also: Chris Hannah.

Kevin Gutowski:

Y’all see the new default html form controls in Safari???!? Woah 🤯

Juli Clover:

The current Safari Technology Preview release is built on the new Safari 15 update included in macOS Monterey, and as such, it includes several Safari 15 features. There’s a new streamlined tab bar with support for Tab Groups to organize tabs, along with improved support for Safari Web Extensions.


Update (2021-06-17): Zhuowei Zhang:

To get the old tab bar on Safari for macOS 12, create /Library/Preferences/FeatureFlags/Domain/Safari.plist and reboot.

Update (2021-06-18): Michele Galvagno:

Not mentioning the full content leaking opaque under the address bar while scrolling… 🤦‍♂️

Nick Heer:

Over the past several releases of MacOS and iOS, Apple has experimented with hiding controls until users hover their cursor overtop, click, tap, or swipe. I see it as an extension of what Maciej Cegłowski memorably called “chickenshit minimalism”. He defined it as “the illusion of simplicity backed by megabytes of cruft”; I see parallels in a “junk drawer” approach that prioritizes the appearance of simplicity over functional clarity. It allows UI designers to avoid making choices about interface hierarchy by burying everything but the most critical elements behind vague controls.

Riccardo Mori:

The utter user-interface butchery happening to Safari on the Mac is once again the work of people who put iOS first. People who by now think in iOS terms. People who view the venerable Mac OS user interface as an older person whose traits must be experimented upon, plastic surgery after plastic surgery, until this person looks younger. Unfortunately the effect is more like this person ends up looking… weird.


The point I’m making with all this pixel peeping is that these are negligible measurements. Getting rid of the Tab bar with the excuse that you’re saving space is the stinkiest bullshit I’ve ever smelt in a while. 28 pixels for any of the current Mac displays is nothing.


This way of browsing is not a problem in search of a solution, Apple. You have so many more UI issues to fix, instead you add some more by ‘revolutionising’ Safari.

Mark Gurman:

People will be a bit confused by the moved URL bar. Managing tabs is far more confusing and slower to reach. Opening a private window is slower too. Worst of all is that sharing websites is hidden behind an extra menu. They need to roll back some of it.

Mike Rockwell:

I’m reserving judgement on the new design for now, but the radical changes coming in Safari 15 brings the sorry state of third-party browser support on iPhone and iPad to the fore. If the changes to the overall design make Safari miserable to use for you, you’re basically stuck. […] Safari is the only game in town because Apple is unwilling to give developers the freedom to build apps that can actually compete.


Update (2021-06-29): Matt Birchler:

I think the biggest cost for me in my usage is that tabs seem to take up more space than before, but somehow also seem like they give me less information.


But moving all of these controls under a menu means I have a harder time accessing them.


What makes this more inconvenient is that since the “more” button is attached to each tab, it means these controls are constantly moving around the interface, so it’s hard to develop muscle memory for accessing them.

Federico Viticci:

This is also a good one: try to open Safari Reader options in iOS 15.

In iOS 14 (left) there’s a button for Reader, which also works for options. Easy.

iOS 15: long-press More to enable Reader (no more aA button). To find options, you have to scroll this entire menu. 😔


It’s like a desire to pick a controversial decision and, by sheer force of leaning into it hard enough, somehow make it palatable and right and true, without ever needing to tackle or confront the legitimate criticisms.

Nick Heer:

Inconsistencies at big companies are to be expected. But it is fairly shocking to see, in a WWDC session, such a blatant dismissal of the visual interface trends creeping throughout Apple’s operating systems and applications. The teams that work on Safari, Music, and Notification Centre should talk to Jiabao when they get the chance.

Niki Tonsky:

New Safari UI is so NOISY when switching between tabs. Lots of unnecessary animations.

Back/forward buttons now OUTSIDE current tab, feels illogical.

How to rearrange tabs? (dragging a tab drags the whole window)

How to control CURRENT tab? Tab controls disappear when selected

Chance Miller:

The workaround for bringing back the old Safari tab bar design no longer works [in Monterey beta 2]

Update (2021-07-02): John Gruber:

I think the new Safari interface is a noble experiment — intriguing ideas that were worth trying out. But I don’t know anyone who thinks, in practice, that they’re not a huge regression in usability. I’d love it if Apple just went back to the previous Safari interface for tabs and browser chrome. It’s crazy to me that even the Share button is now an extra click or tap away. If Apple ships this design for the Mac it’s going to push a lot of current Safari users to Chrome or other Chromium-based browsers.

Update (2021-07-03): John Gruber (tweet):

All the other [iOS Safari] controls are inside the “···” popover menu.

The old design has no “···” menu because it doesn’t need one. It has an “aA” button at the top which can be long-pressed to toggle Reader Mode and when tapped shows a popover menu of site-specific viewing options. At the bottom it has one-tap buttons for Share and Bookmarks. I use the Share and Bookmarks buttons all the time on my iPhone.

The system-wide standard iOS/iPadOS Share popover menu is one of the best UIs Apple has come up with in the last decade. It is extremely useful, very well supported by both first- and third-party apps, and extraordinarily consistent across the entire system. […]

I also think the “aA” button is a much better idea than putting all the options previously contained therein in the catch-all “···” menu. Long-pressing “aA” to toggle Reader Mode feels intuitive; long-pressing “···” to toggle Reader Mode feels like they just didn’t know where else to put it. […]

Bookmarks are almost completely lost in the new design, and unless I’m missing something, there’s no longer any way to run bookmarklets.


One can only presume that Apple’s HI team thinks they’re reducing needless “clutter”, but what they’re doing is systematically removing the coherence between what apps look like and the functionality they offer.

Juli Clover:

This is a really good overview of the problems with Safari in iOS 15 and macOS Monterey. I absolutely hate the Safari changes and I hope Apple tweaks things before these updates see a public launch.

Lalit Bar notes that, with the current Safari Technology Preview, you can actually drag the window by clicking on a tab. This is possible because it requires a long click to rearrange or extract tabs. This addresses my objection about not having enough safe empty space for window dragging, though:

It’s extremely off-putting and norm-breaking. I absolutely hate this.

Update (2021-07-06): Accidental Tech Podcast.

Update (2021-07-13): Jeff Perry:

Apple has moved the tab bar (or address bar as many call it) from the top of the screen to the bottom. This is obviously meant to make it more usable for bigger phones. As an iPhone 12 Pro Max user, this is a welcome change, but the problem is how this new bar behaves.


It is almost impossible to use the bottom buttons on the website when the floating bar is active, making it incredibly frustrating as a user.


The new design also entirely ruins all muscle memory we have with Safari. We no longer can go by memory on where the Share button, reload button, or back buttons are.

Five Antitrust Bills

Cecilia Kang (via Nick Heer):

House lawmakers on Friday introduced sweeping antitrust legislation aimed at restraining the power of Big Tech and staving off corporate consolidation. If passed, the bills would be the most ambitious update to monopoly laws in decades.

The bills — five in total — take direct aim at Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google and their grip on online commerce, information and entertainment. The proposals would make it easier to break up businesses that used their dominance in one area to get a stronghold in another, would create new hurdles for acquisitions of nascent rivals and would empower regulators with more funds to police companies.

Ben Thompson:

This bill, sponsored by Cicilline (D-RI) and co-sponsored by Lance Gooden (R-TX), bans covered platforms from giving an advantage to their own products, services, and lines of business over competitors; disadvantaging competing products, services, and lines of business; or discriminating between similarly situated business users.


  • Forbids the platform from restricting the right of third-party businesses to use their own data generated on the platform
  • Requires platform owners to allow users to uninstall pre-installed applications and change defaults
  • Bans anti-steering provisions (i.e. Spotify being able to tell iOS users to subscribe online or link to the web)
  • Restricts the platform owner from treating the platform’s own products differently in search or rankings

Rebecca Kern:

Cicilline told reporters Wednesday that a proposal prohibiting tech platforms from giving an advantage to their own products over those of competitors would mean Apple can’t ship devices with pre-installed apps on its iOS operating platform.

Via Nick Heer:

I would love to know what Cicilline believes an empty shell of an operating system looks like.


And what is the goal here? I agree in theory with limiting a platform owner’s ability to use that unique power and privilege to stifle competition. But if a user has to configure everything about their system manually, well that just sounds horrible.


Update (2021-06-18): Nick Heer:

Rich Luchette, a senior adviser to Cicilline, tweeted a clarification:

Just to correct the record, this is not what Cicilline said. iPhones can be shipped with pre-installed apps, but Apple could not stop someone from un-installing or changing their default settings under the non-discrimination bill.

In another example of Bloomberg’s stellar reporting, Kern has updated this article to reflect this understanding. However, in Benedict Evans’ analysis, the actual text of the bill more closely reflects the initial report.

Update (2021-07-02): John Gruber:

I don’t think it’s any exaggeration to say that the Jayapal bill would profoundly change Apple and all of Apple’s products, platforms, and above all, services — in ways that ultimately would be ruinous for the company as we know it. It’s a “throw the baby out with the bathwater” bill that betrays a profound misunderstanding of how platforms evolve. Even if it is just an anchoring strategy to make Cicilline’s own bill look moderate in comparison, Apple should be extremely concerned that Jayapal’s bill is even on the table.

David Heinemeier Hansson:

I had actually put off reading the bills directly for several days, because I feared the usual disappointment. That these bills were going to be timid, around-the-edges, squint-to-see-silverlining type of deals. I shouldn’t have. These bills are bold. Really bold.