New Safari Web Browser Features Coming in macOS High Sierra

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jun 12, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    During 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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

    Article Link: New Safari Web Browser Features Coming in macOS High Sierra
     
  2. Precursor macrumors 6502a

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  3. slimothy Suspended

    slimothy

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  4. redheeler macrumors 604

    redheeler

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    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.
     
  5. Michaelgtrusa macrumors 604

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  6. Bug-Creator macrumors 6502

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  7. Lesser Evets macrumors 68040

    Lesser Evets

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    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.
     
  8. oneMadRssn macrumors 601

    oneMadRssn

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    I'm looking forward to the intelligent tracking prevention feature a lot, but I hope there is a way to white-list certain sites or domains. For example, some credit cards offer a higher cash-back bonus if you click-through to a web store through their link. I've had various ad-blockers and tracking-script blockers mess up this hand-off process, and I don't get the additional cash-back.
     
  9. punchwalk, Jun 12, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2017

    punchwalk macrumors regular

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    #9
    Assuming it works well, autoplay prevention is a fantastic feature, and one that's been needed for quite a long time. There have been extensions to fill this need for a while, but a simple manager for autoplay preferences, such as what Apple has ostensibly done here, should be available in all browsers. I realize that ads are how a lot of websites pay the bills, but that shouldn't mean having unsolicited audio blasted at you all the time.

    It should be noted that this feature won't affect playback of Flash or other plug-in content.

    I suspect Apple is introducing this feature largely to improve battery life. Even so, I hope other browsers' developers feel compelled to fall in line.
     
  10. Jsameds macrumors 68040

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    I use Quidco and the same thing occours, although this site warns you before you click through so it's just a matter of disabling adblock, clicking through, completing the transaction and then popping it back on again.
     
  11. Westside guy macrumors 603

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    Auto play blocking is actually something you can do now - but making it simple for people to access is welcome news.
     
  12. mikeray macrumors regular

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    #12
    They also have fixed a bug with rendering Flexbox heights correctly which is super cool if you are a developer.

    Apple puts so much effort into Safari despite its low usage share. Safari rocks.
     
  13. oneMadRssn macrumors 601

    oneMadRssn

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    Yea, I've had mixed results with doing that. I'm never certain when exactly in the processes that critical cookie is put in place. To be sure, I think you would have to (1) logout, (2) disable adblock, (3) login, (4) click through and complete the transaction, and (5) enable adblock again.

    For my purposes, I keep a version of FireFox without any extensions, blockers, or plugins on my computer that I use only for these situations.
     
  14. FloatingBones, Jun 12, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2017

    FloatingBones macrumors 65816

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    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" two days after the keynote. As noted in this WebKit blog article "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." 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 as my default search engine. Every little bit helps.

    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.
     
  15. punchwalk macrumors regular

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    You're right: These matters play out as a cat-and-mouse game. Users' privacy interests are often best served by using a few trustworthy extensions. They have more focus, dedication, and agility in dealing with browser-specific privacy concerns than the "big guys" (e.g. Apple, Google, etc), who have to spend a lot of time tending to dozens of other aspects of the browser simultaneously.
     
  16. Ebenezum macrumors 6502a

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    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...
     
  17. fizzyfizz macrumors member

    fizzyfizz

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    #17

    Where is this feature currently hiding?
     
  18. jblagden macrumors 65816

    jblagden

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    Especially on MacDailyNews.com, where the video slides down the page when you’re trying to read the article. Fortunately, AdBlockPlus can block ads, and it even has an option for allowing unobtrusive ads. The unobtrusive ad feature is great because it allows websites to get the advertising revenue they need to survive while also discouraging the use of obtrusive ads by refusing ad revenue to sites which use obtrusive ads.
     
  19. newdeal macrumors 68020

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    All I really want is for them to clean up the bugs (there are plenty) and make it faster (seems really slow compared to chrome on my new macbook pro these days)
     
  20. jblagden macrumors 65816

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    If you go to the Security part of Safari’s Preferences, you can specify which sites you want to allow to use plugins and WebGL. You can even just set it so it has to ask every time a site wants to use either WebGL or plugins (i.e. Flash).
     
  21. krazzix macrumors member

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    #21
    I like how Apple solves many problems now using Machine Learning like Intelligent Tracking Prevention.

    The first approach was to have build automated prevention, which doesn't work with trackers.

    The second approach is make a huge list of trackers and block all of them, but of course requires a team of people that update that list all the time (Ghostery).

    And now we have machine learning, combining automation and building lists. How can one ever beat that?
     
  22. MrGuder macrumors 68030

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    Lots to see here, don't move along. *Roger that*
     
  23. jblagden macrumors 65816

    jblagden

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    I concur, especially about the speed. Even on my 2011 MacBook Pro, Chrome is faster than Safari. I thought Apple’s software was supposed to be optimized for Macs, but I guess Google beat them. A couple other great things about Chrome are that it’s available for pretty much any mobile or desktop OS, and there’s an open-source version of it called Chromium which can be easily installed from a Linux repository.
     
  24. John.B macrumors 601

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    What would be awesome would be the ability to specify default public/private mode on a per-site basis. (Since the UI to configure such things is now in place.)
     
  25. harmless macrumors member

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    #25
    Just visit the site directly once and log in. Safari will remember that you actually want to interact with the site and will not block their cookies in the future.

    That's what they said in the WWDC session anyway ... :}

    Also, third party cookies are not actually blocked. Instead the third party will get a new cookie each time you visit a site where it is included. The duplicate cookies will automatically be deleted later.
     

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