Prior to this beta, Safari on iPad was similar to Safari on iOS
with no dedicated tab bar, but after the update, Apple has added a
dedicated tab bar that’s activated by default, which is the same
layout that’s now used in macOS Monterey.
While the separate tab bar is enabled automatically when updating,
in the Safari section of Settings, there is an option to toggle on
the original compact tab bar that merged everything together.
This is a significant improvement for Safari on iPad, and showing the tab bar is the correct default. If you love the new unified design, it’s still there. But my big problem with this tab bar — both on Mac and now iPad — is that it’s very hard to see which tab is the current (selected) tab. The visual indication for “selected” is just a very slightly different background tint — whether you’ve got “Show color in tab bar” enabled or not. You can even scroll the current tab out of view. Why is that possible? I don’t see how this is better than the Safari 14 tab bar in any way, and I see a lot of ways that it’s worse.