Technology Apple details boosts to performance and privacy for Safari
Apple, Google say users to control virus 'tracing' tool
Apple and Google said Friday their coronavirus "contact tracing" technology would enable smartphone users to control their own data, and that the system would likely be shut down after the pandemic ends. The underlying technology being developed by Google and Apple, expected in early May, has rankled some officials in Europe seeking central control of the tracing data. The Apple-Google document said public health authorities would have access to the technology but that any apps "must meet specific criteria around privacy, security, and data control.
You might be less inclined to skip Safari in favor of other browsers if you update to. Apple has Safari with not just a more streamlined design, but a few much-needed features. For one, it’s simply faster — Apple is vowing that frequently used pages will load up to 50 percent faster than on Chrome in some cases. The company claims that you’ll still get solid battery life in the process, so this might be your browser of choice if you’re wringing out every last minute of possible runtime on your MacBook.
Privacy takes a step up. There’s intelligent privacy protection, and you can click a privacy monitor button to see just what Safari is allowing or blocking. You can dig into a Privacy Report if you want a detailed look at what’s happening across all the sites you visit.
Spotify's web player works with Safari again
In 2017, Spotify’s Safari web player vanished without any explanation. Users were forced to use another browser or the native Mac app. Now, just as mysteriously, Spotify has added Safari back to its list of approved browsers. After almost three years, loyal Safari users can finally listen to Spotify in the browser once again. It’s always been a little strange that Spotify didn’t work in Safari. Even Google’s music service works fine with the browser. Of course, the public beta of Apple Music’s web player is also compatible.Spotify made the change quietly and without any announcement. It was spotted by a Reddit user and reported by 9to5Mac.
Customization has been improved on multiple levels. Safari now supports the WebExtensions API, so plug-ins written for browsers like Chrome should fit right in. Extensions will be available through the Mac App Store as well. Even your starting home page has received a touch-up with content sections and a custom background.
Other tweaks? Translation is built-in, and tabs now show previews when you hover over them.
You can try the new Safari as part of the macOS Big Sur beta, either now if you’re a developer or in July in the public test. Big Sur will be widely available in the fall. Apple still faces significant hurdles to getting people to ditch Chrome, Firefox or other browsers, but what’s here might just eliminate some of the more common complaints.
Safari in macOS Big Sur will stream Netflix in 4K HDR .
MacOS Big Sur may be a worthwhile upgrade if you love to marathon TV shows. As 9to5Macreports, users have discovered that Safari in Big Sur will play Netflix videos in 4K with HDR, whether you’re using Dolby Vision or HDR10. You won’t have to switch to another browser just to see more than a plain 1080p image. The upgrade comes thanks to long-expected support for HEVC in Apple’s web browser. You’ll have to be picky about your choice of Mac if you want the full effect, either with the Big Sur beta or the finished release this fall. HDR is currently only supported with 2018 or later MacBook Pro models, 2018 or later Mac mini systems, the iMac Pro or the Mac Pro.