New Safari Web Browser Features Coming in macOS High Sierra

safari iconDuring last week's keynote at the Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple announced a number of additional features coming to Safari web browser as part of its new macOS High Sierra operating system, due to release in the fall.

Apple claims that in its current form Safari is the fastest web browser in macOS when compared with Chrome and Firefox, but it is promising even more speed and better power efficiency in High Sierra.

One of the most welcome new features that was announced at WWDC is Autoplay blocking. This prevents websites from playing video the moment you visit a page, which should make browsing a lot less infuriating. As of the High Sierra developer beta, the feature is enabled by default for all sites, but can be specified on a per site basis by the user.

autoplay
Another new Safari feature that Apple is introducing is called Intelligent Tracking Prevention. (This appears in iOS 11 under the Safari setting "Try to Prevent Cross-Site Tracking".) Safari was one of the first browsers to include mechanisms that try to prevent cross-site tracking – blocking of third-party cookies is a default Safari behavior – but elaborate API methods have been employed to overtake those efforts in the intervening years.

Apple's own testing has found that popular websites can harbor more than 70 cross-site tracking and third-party cookie trackers that all silently collect data on users while making the browsing experience increasingly sluggish.

intelligent tracking prevention
To solve this, Apple's new feature uses local machine learning to identify cookie types and partition them or purge the cross-site scripting data of suspect ad trackers, without affecting the functioning of helpful cookies like those containing localized data or login details, for example. The feature should increase user privacy as well as boost overall browsing speed.

Elsewhere in Safari, users will be able to specify a number of other web page settings on a per-site basis. For example, it will be possible to set a zoom level for a particular web page, as well as enable/disable notifications and content blockers, and set camera/microphone and location service privileges for a site so that they remain active the next time you visit.

safari high sierra
In addition, Apple has added a new Reader Mode option that lets users automatically enter the stripped down easy-reading mode whenever they visit a website, enabling them to enjoy content without ads, navigation and other distractions as a default setting.

The new Safari will be available in the Public Beta of macOS High Sierra, which is expected to drop later this month. Eager users can also get a taste of the new features in the latest release of the Safari Technology Preview.

Tag: Safari
Related Forum: macOS High Sierra

Popular Stories

iphone se 4 modified flag edges

iPhone SE 4 With Face ID Said to Be Priced Below $500

Monday May 20, 2024 3:43 am PDT by
Apple is targeting a sub-$500 starting price for its upcoming fourth-generation iPhone SE model despite a raft of rumored upgrades coming to the more affordable device. According to leaker Revegnus on X, the U.S. launch price of the fourth-generation iPhone SE will either remain at the same $429 starting price as the current model, or will see an increase of around 10%. Either way, Apple's...
iOS 17

Apple Releases iOS 17.5.1 With Fix for Reappearing Photos Bug

Monday May 20, 2024 10:11 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS 17.5.1 and iPadOS 17.5.1, minor updates to the iOS 17 and iPadOS 17 operating system updates that came out last September. The 17.5.1 updates come a week after the launch of iOS 17.5 and iPadOS 17.5. iOS 17.5.1 and iPadOS 17.5.1 can be downloaded on eligible iPhones and iPads over-the-air by going to Settings > General > Software Update. According to Apple's...
iPhone 16 Camera Lozenge 2 Perspective

iPhone 16 Lineup Rumored to Come in These Two New Colors

Sunday May 19, 2024 11:08 am PDT by
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo today outlined his expectations for the iPhone 16 lineup's color options, revealing that two new colors should replace two of the existing shades. Kuo outlined his expectations in a post on X (formerly Twitter) earlier today. He believes that the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max will be available in black, white or silver, gray or "Natural Titanium," and rose....
microsoft surface pro qualcomm

Microsoft Says New Surface Pro is Faster Than 15" M3 MacBook Air

Monday May 20, 2024 3:19 pm PDT by
Microsoft is going all in on AI, today introducing a series of Copilot+ PCs that have AI-focused hardware. The new Surface Pro is one of the first Copilot+ PCs, equipped with Qualcomm's Arm-based Snapdragon X Elite processor. Microsoft is already pitting the Surface Pro against Apple's M3 MacBook Air, and in marketing materials, claims that the Surface Pro has superior processing power and...
iOS 17

iOS 17.5 Bug May Also Resurface Deleted Photos on Wiped, Sold Devices [Updated]

Friday May 17, 2024 12:24 pm PDT by
A bug in iOS 17.5 is apparently causing photos that have been deleted to reappear, and the issue seems to impact even iPhones and iPads that have been erased and sold off to other people. A Reddit user wiped an iPad following Apple's guidelines in September of 2023 before selling it off to a friend. That friend updated the iPad to iPadOS 17.5 this week, and began seeing the Reddit user's old ...
iphone se 4 modified flag edges

When to Expect the Next iPhone SE to Launch

Friday May 17, 2024 2:03 pm PDT by
It has been over two years since Apple released the third-generation iPhone SE, and rumors continue to surface about a new model. The latest word comes from The Information, which today reported that Apple plans to release a new iPhone SE with a design similar to the standard iPhone 14 in the spring of 2025. If this rumor is accurate, the iPhone SE would finally gain Face ID and a notch...

Top Rated Comments

Lesser Evets Avatar
91 months ago
It can NEVER be fast enough, but faster is better. The auto-play feature is great--I hate when I'm reading news and some annoying ad or news video starts babbling and screaming up screen somewhere.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Precursor Avatar
91 months ago
This is the feature I've been waiting the most!
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
redheeler Avatar
91 months ago
Apple did a very good job with this interface in Preferences. Everything is there, it is clean, concise, easy to use. Arguably one of the all-time best improvements to Safari.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Bug-Creator Avatar
91 months ago
Sad that something like this is needed......
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
FloatingBones Avatar
91 months ago
This will continue to be a battle -- the advertisers will not take this sitting down. MarketingLand published "How Apple’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention works & why Google/Facebook could benefit most ('http://marketingland.com/apple-safari-intelligent-ad-tracking-what-we-know-216865')" two days after the keynote. As noted in this WebKit blog article "Intelligent Tracking Prevention ('https://webkit.org/blog/7675/intelligent-tracking-prevention/')", there is a 24-hour window where cookies will be more widely available. The marketeers will exploit this window -- count on it.

Apple: please give users the option of shutting down this window. Consider making it the default behavior. :)

MarketingLand also notes an article by a blog article by privacy expert Alexander Hanff "Apple Safari's Intelligent Tracking Prevention can not prevent tracking ('http://www.privacy-news.net/news_article/5936b50c178a907559b1e5f3')." Apple's changes will clearly help, but we may need to have legislation to stop certain server-side tracking.

I switched from Chrome to Safari about 6 months ago. It took time to adapt, but I'm glad I did it. I also use DuckDuckGo ('https://duckduckgo.com') as my default search engine. Every little bit helps.

While Intelligent Tracking Protection is a nice idea I wonder how well it works in practice? I suspect it won't take long for advertisers to find ways to circumvent it...
Follow the links above to see what the industry is saying about it. I'm certain the marketeers have "developer" accounts and have already started poking and prodding the macOS and iOS betas.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Ebenezum Avatar
91 months ago
While Intelligent Tracking Protection is a nice idea I wonder how well it works in practice? I suspect it won't take long for advertisers to find ways to circumvent it...
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)