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(Pocket-lint) - Apple debuted a redesign to its Safari browser at its developer conference back in June.

The changes were immediately controversial, with the iOS version particularly causing some consternation as a new address bar at the bottom of the screen caused some websites to become near-unusable. 

On macOS and IPadOS, Apple made the tabs more compact, crowding them in at the top of the screen, which you can see here.

AppleIt seems like Apple is rowing back on its big Safari redesign photo 1

It now appears that feedback on this has caused a change of heart since in iPadOS and on macOS the new look is now optional (see main pic above).

In Safari's settings, you can now enable the Compact Tab Bar as an option. 

AppleIt seems like Apple is rowing back on its big Safari redesign photo 3

Of course, these are why beta testing is worthwhile. However, it appears the address bar is there to stay at the bottom of the screen on iOS since Apple has continued to make changes to it, such as putting the share button next to the address bar rather than in a pop-up. The reload button is also next to the URL. A long press on the address bar now shows bookmarks. 

AppleIt seems like Apple is rowing back on its big Safari redesign photo 2

The new bar definitely requires a mindset change from the user so it'll be interesting to see how it does when it gets in more users' hands in September/October when the new software updates are released. As you can see in the example here, it conflicts with some site elements you get on many mobile websites, such as the ad. 

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Writing by Dan Grabham. Originally published on 28 July 2021.