Apple Releases Safari Technology Preview 131 With Bug Fixes and Performance Improvements

Apple today released a new update for Safari Technology Preview, the experimental browser Apple first introduced in March 2016. Apple designed the ‌Safari Technology Preview‌ to test features that may be introduced into future release versions of Safari.

Safari Technology Preview Feature
‌Safari Technology Preview‌ release 131 includes bug fixes and performance improvements for Web Inspector, CSS, Web API, JavaScript, Platform Features, Media, Web Audio, WebRTC, Payment Request, WebCrypto, Accessibility, and Rendering. Apple warns that Tab Groups do not sync in this release.

The current ‌Safari Technology Preview‌ release is built on the Safari 15 update included in macOS Monterey, and as such, it includes several Safari 15 features. There's a new streamlined tab bar with support for Tab Groups to organize tabs, along with improved support for Safari Web Extensions.

Live Text allows users to select and interact with text in images on the web, but the macOS Monterey beta and an M1 Mac is required. There's also Quick Notes support for adding links and Safari highlights to remember important information and ideas.

Other updates include WebGL 2 and new HTML, CSS, and JavaScript features.

The new ‌Safari Technology Preview‌ update is available for both macOS Big Sur and macOS Monterey, the newest version of the Mac operating system that's set to release this fall.

The ‌Safari Technology Preview‌ update is available through the Software Update mechanism in System Preferences to anyone who has downloaded the browser. Full release notes for the update are available on the Safari Technology Preview website.

Apple's aim with ‌Safari Technology Preview‌ is to gather feedback from developers and users on its browser development process. ‌Safari Technology Preview‌ can run side-by-side with the existing Safari browser and while designed for developers, it does not require a developer account to download.

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Top Rated Comments

elptdbi3lYI Avatar
37 months ago
Tab bar still extremely buggy, sidebar stuff still not fixed.
[SPOILER]Just revert to Safari 12.0 design, pls.[/SPOILER]
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MikhailT Avatar
37 months ago

Anyway, enough of that. I came here to ask the question: Is Safari the ONLY Browser that only provides the latest version(s) with the latest OS upgrades? Firefox and Google Crime (I mean, Chrome) do eventually required OS 10.9 or 10.11 or whatever, but Apple just immediately demands that you if want the newest version of Safari, you must upgrade to 10.14 or 11 or even 12. (edit: Sorry, I left out 10.15! D'oh!)

Why? What's so special about Safari versus the features of Firefox? (I only use Chrome as a last resort.) I see announcements for the Technology Preview version of Safari "131", and I don't understand why, if you have at least 10.13 installed, you can't get the latest upgrades to Safari?

I personally just don't like being railroaded into spending all this money just to make Tim Cook's stockholders happy, when most of the time all of the bugs aren't even worked out by the time the next yearly OS version is released.
Safari 15 will be available for Big Sur and Catalina, just like they offered Safari 14 for previous two macOS releases and same for Safari 13 and so on. Apple limit the official support to two or three macOS recent releases. They don't really care about backward compatibility unlike MS with Windows where it is an important feature.

The reason that Safari is linked to macOS upgrades is that Apple integrates Safari with other frameworks on a deeper level to optimize it for battery life and performance; stuff like Metal and CoreUI. The newer versions of the system frameworks are not backported to previous macOS versions, so Apple limits them as much as possible to reduce regressions and QA/CS work. That's why it's not just Safari that's being linked to macOS, it's everything else as well; including iCloud, Mail, Music, TV, Notes, etc. They're all upgraded once a year.

Do Apple have to do this? No. Apple wants to move the whole tech stack further faster and drop backward compat stuff much faster than other companies. They can't drop support in a minor OS version, which is why they do major OS versions instead.

Is it the best way of doing things? Well, it is working for Apple in this case given how much of their iOS users are upgrading rapidly compared to any other markets.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
elptdbi3lYI Avatar
37 months ago
I wouldn't care much if it was technology preview that's like this, all the same stuff is reproducible on "stable" safari too though.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
chucker23n1 Avatar
37 months ago

I’m happy to hear that. It’s super cool that it works for you. That’s awesome. For me I’ll stay in the slow lane. I got burned really bad a long time ago, so I’m unwilling to go there again.
To be clear, I didn't mean to invalidate your experience — just that mine, luckily, has been better. (And I do some web dev so it's useful for me — not just so I can get a sneak peek at new UI features, but also to test new web specs.)

However if it’s running well for many of you I suspect those new features will make it into plain Safari sooner than later… ?
I expect all of this to be rolled into Safari 15, and for that to ship with Monterey, presumably in October. So about six weeks from now.

And yeah, aside from the controversial tab change (which have mostly been corrected, but still aren't ideal IMHO), and for missing tab groups sync (which makes the feature a lot less useful for me, but which will presumably launch later this year when it's stable), I would say recent Safari TPs are perfectly reliable and Safari 15.0 should launch quite well.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MauiPa Avatar
37 months ago

Tab bar still extremely buggy, sidebar stuff still not fixed.
[SPOILER]Just revert to Safari 12.0 design, pls.[/SPOILER]
I'm not seeing any "buggy". Supports both the compact and separate tab format in preferences. works fine. I would encourage you to add specificity to your concerns, not saying that you are, but some posters just throw stuff out to what sticks, true or not. Like I said, it works fine and it sounds like you just prefer a different UI, that's fine too
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SFjohn Avatar
37 months ago

I haven't found most Safari TPs to be noticeably less reliable than their regular releases.
I’m happy to hear that. It’s super cool that it works for you. That’s awesome. For me I’ll stay in the slow lane. I got burned really bad a long time ago, so I’m unwilling to go there again. However if it’s running well for many of you I suspect those new features will make it into plain Safari sooner than later… ?
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)