Safari UI Changes in iOS 15 Beta 4

On iPhone:

  • The Share button is back in the toolbar, replacing the “···” don’t-call-it-a-hamburger-button. But there’s an awful lot of non-sharing stuff crammed into the Share menu — the ᴀA menu items from the current version of Safari (text size, Reader mode, disabling content blockers temporarily, etc.) are all in “Share” now. It’s better than the “···” menu in betas 1–3, but really, this is more like changing the “···” glyph to the Share glyph. It’s still two menus’ worth of features stuffed into one monolithic menu.

  • The Reload button is back. But it’s bizarrely tiny — way smaller than the minimum recommended tap target size of 44 x 44 points. And it shares space with the newly restored Reader mode button. When you load a page, if Reader mode is available, the Reader mode button shows briefly (maybe for 1–2 seconds?) along with the text “Reader Available” under the website’s domain name. But then the “Reader Available” label fades out and the Reader mode button turns into the Reload button. To enable Reader mode at this point, you either need to long-press the URL domain name to bring up a shortcut menu, or tap the — you guessed it — Share button, which has its own “Reader” item near the top.

  • Bookmarks are supposed to be easier to access, but I think most users accustomed to previous versions of Mobile Safari — which heretofore has always had a bookmarks button right in the main toolbar — are going to struggle to find them.

Apple is clearly trying to address the numerous complaints about the Safari 15 design for iPhone, but beta 4 feels like they’ve decided that the solution to finding themselves in a hole is to dig faster.

Tuesday, 27 July 2021