macOS 11: Safari 15.1 brings back familiar tabs

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Apple has updated its browser for older macOS versions: For users of macOS 11 Big Sur and macOS 10.15 Catalina, Safari version 15.1 is now available for download via the integrated software update. Apple doesn’t seem to be delivering any further browser and security updates for macOS 10.14 Mojave.

The new version of the browser made its debut last Monday with the release of macOS 12 Monterey, where Safari 15.1 is preinstalled and is shipped as part of the operating system.

The latest Safari version reverses Apple’s extensive redesign, which was only released to the general public in Safari 15 with macOS 11 Big Sur. In macOS 10.15, Apple kept the old design; in macOS 12, the changes were completely reversed before the operating system update was released. The step was preceded by a lot of criticism of the innovations during the Monterey beta phase: Testers complained about a considerable deterioration in terms of usability and clarity.

Safari 15.1 looks like Safari 14 again by default. The new design, however, lives on in hiding, it can be activated via the Safari settings for tabs: The “compact” tab layout merges the address and tab bar, separating the tab from the tab respective website and colors the window frame on some websites in their background color – that was originally supposed to be the general redesign. New functions such as tab groups and extended password management, which now supports one-time codes for web services with two-factor authentication, were introduced by Apple in Safari 15.0.

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Safari 15.1 for macOS 11 and 10.15 closes according to the manufacturer four vulnerabilities in the browser engine WebKit. One of them can be classified as particularly serious, since malicious code can be smuggled in when a manipulated website is accessed. Accordingly, users should quickly update to Safari 15.1.


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