Apple has updated Safari’s design in the latest iOS 15 beta (Developer Beta 6), making the address bar look and act more like what users are used to and giving you the option to put it at either the top or bottom of the screen. Safari’s redesign, especially on iPhones, has been controversial since it was first announced, but it seems like Apple is starting to walk back the floating design that’s persisted throughout the beta.
MacStories founder and podcaster Federico Viticci has posted screenshots of the new design on Twitter, showing off the changes. If the user chooses to have the address bar on the bottom, it sits above a row of controls, including back and forward buttons, a share button, and the tab button. (In previous versions of the beta, these buttons were one with the address bar.) If the user chooses the option to have the address bar at the top, Safari will look similar to how it did in iOS 14.
We did it everyone:
Safari in iOS 15 beta 6 features a new address bar at the bottom that sits below page content. A toolbar with buttons is back.
And we can put the address bar back at the top again pic.twitter.com/dbCvauXoDy
— Federico Viticci (@viticci) August 17, 2021
Apple has been tweaking and changing Safari’s new design since it made its debut in the first beta. The updates have been relatively small — buttons were added back into the address bar (making it a minefield of touch targets), and Apple made the address bar easier to get to when you’re typing in a URL or search term. However, the incremental updates haven’t appeased those calling for a return to a more traditional design, one that doesn’t include a floating element that hovers above a webpage’s content.
The option to change where the address bar resides should please those who thought its new place at the bottom was a good one (regardless of how its actual design was executed), as well as those who prefer to have it at the top. It may make things tough for web designers, who will have to deal with the possibility of something butting up against either the top or bottom of their webpage, but it’s a nice option for users to have.
According to Viticci, the iPad version of Safari hasn’t changed with this update, though Apple introduced an option that more or less let you go back to a traditional design in Beta 4.