It appears that the company has left the option to use the Compact mode introduced with the new Safari at WWDC back in June, but users now also have the option to use the more traditional Safari tab layout.
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 — the way this design should have been approached all along. Safari 15 on iPadOS 15.1 comes along for the ride too.
We're left with one single design mistake in Safari 15 across all platforms: the close buttons for tabs being on the right instead of the left on iPhone. Pretty good outcome given what was shown back at WWDC.
The new Safari has been a major pain point for a lot of users who have been testing and running the latest generation of the browser. Apple took a lot of heat for the radical redesign which many determined to be less user friendly than the previous version of the long-standing default browser for the Mac, iPad, and iPhone.
Thankfully, it appears that when macOS Monterey launches next week users will have complete control over what kind of Safari they want to experience.
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