Tag Archive for ‘Safari’

Safari 15 ➝

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.

Sure, you can change your default browser, but you’re still going to use Safari View Controller in other apps, you’ll lose access to Content Blockers, you won’t get access to browser extensions, along with dozens of other little annoyances. Safari is the only game in town because Apple is unwilling to give developers the freedom to build apps that can actually compete.

➝ Source: mjtsai.com

iOS 15: Safari’s New Tab Bar, Tab Groups, and Tab Switcher ➝

I’ll reserve judgement until I actually get my hands on it, but I’m not expecting to love this new direction for Safari.

➝ Source: macrumors.com

1Password Teases Safari Web Extension Already Working on iPadOS 15 ➝

I’d really like to continue using Firefox on iOS, even though the experience is far from perfect. But the existence of browser extensions in Safari is just too darn appealing. I’ll probably switch back to Safari once I’m running iOS/iPadOS 15.

In an ideal world, though, Apple would offer a level playing field to third-party developers, letting them offer extensions too.

➝ Source: macrumors.com

Safari Technology Preview 58 ➝

This release includes new features that will be shipping in Safari 12 later this year, including icons in tabs and automatic strong passwords.

One thing of note for web designers is that, after enabling icon tabs in the app’s settings, it looks like the browser defaults to using the website’s “mask-icon” for this feature. These icons were previously only used for pinned tabs and are limited to a single color.

But if you remove your website’s mask-icon entirely, Safari will fallback to displaying the site’s full color favicon instead. And there doesn’t appear to be any downside to removing a site’s mask-icon because this new version of Safari will display favicons for pinned tabs as well.

Downloading Files With iCab Mobile

One aspect of the iOS-first lifestyle that has been a bit of an issue, for many users, is dealing with files. Apple has done a lot to try and fix that with the Files app in iOS 11, but it isn’t fool-proof. One common pain-point for me has been trying to download MP3 files that exist behind a paywall. Luckily, a few must-have iOS apps are available to smooth out the rough edges.

Download in iCab Workflow

I subscribe to Wrestling Observer to gain access to their premium podcast content — because I’m a nerd who likes pro wrestling. I prefer to listen to these shows in Overcast so I can use the app’s Smart Speed feature and play it back at about 1.2x, but Overcast doesn’t have support for password protected RSS feeds. I’m holding out hope that this will be added in the future, but until then, I’ve been using iCab Mobile to download the audio files, which I can then upload to Overcast’s servers with my Premium subscription. And of course, Workflow is there to facility the process.

When a new episode of Wrestling Observer Radio appears in my RSS reader, I follow the link to the episode’s webpage. From there I long press on the download link, tap the “Share…” button, choose “Run Workflow”, and tap on Download In iCab.

The workflow takes the URL passed into it and makes use of iCab’s x-callback-url support to initiate a download of the linked file. In a few short seconds, the MP3 file is available for me to upload to Overcast’s servers for listening in the app — thankfully, iCab works well with the Files app as a document provider.

Downloaded in iCab and Uploaded to Overcast in Sidefari

This workflow is great on the iPhone, but it really shines on the iPad where I have Sidefari setup in split view alongside iCab Mobile. iCab downloads the file while Sidefari is configured to automatically load the Overcast Uploads webpage. Once the download is completed, I can start uploading to Overcast immediately. And when I’m done, I can use the system back button in the upper left to get back into my RSS feeds.

This workflow has been immensely useful for me over the past several months. The podcast I use it for is updated several times each week and I follow the steps outlined above for nearly every episode. It might not seem like all the tapping through various menus is worth the trouble, but I can assure you that the alternative methods for performing the same task are much more time consuming and frustrating to use.

I originally built this workflow in order to download audio files from the web, but I’m sure there are all kinds of oddball tasks that it could be useful for. I’d love to see iCab introduce an action extension that initiates a download, but until that happens, this workflow is the next best thing.

Why I’m Not Crazy for Making Safari My Default Browser ➝

Matt Birchler:

I don’t think that Safari is the best browser for everyone, and I don’t think Chrome is the only other game in town either. Some people love Opera, while others are getting excited for Vivaldi, and Firefox still has its supporters. But there is a mass of people who scoff at those who use anything besides Chrome, and I wanted to explain why some of us use it over the Goliath in the room. Chrome is great, but so is Safari.

Matt makes some great points in this piece, but I think he missed one of the biggest reasons for using Safari instead of Chrome — significantly better battery life. I can understand why it was omitted from his list, though, his primary home computer is a Mac mini.

Split View Safari in iOS 10 ➝

One feature that isn’t going to make the cut in my piece on iOS 10 is the ability to view two Safari tabs in Split View. The biggest reason is, I just don’t have much to say about it other than, I want it now.

Safari 10 Will No Longer Load Legacy Plug-Ins by Default ➝

Ricky Mondello, writing on the WebKit weblog:

By default, Safari no longer tells websites that common plug-ins are installed. It does this by not including information about Flash, Java, Silverlight, and QuickTime in navigator.plugins and navigator.mimeTypes. This convinces websites with both plug-in and HTML5-based media implementations to use their HTML5 implementation.

This is a step in the right direction towards a Flash-free web. If you’d like to experience it now, I suggest uninstalling Flash altogether and using John Gruber’s workaround if you come across any stubborn websites.