Apple letting Safari users on iPadOS 15 beta 4 decide what UI version to keep leaves many surprised

Traditionally, Apple has been a pretty closed-off company with iOS and macOS being the epitome of proprietary software, only running on specific approved hardware and nothing else.

The alternatives on the other hand (Windows and Android) are fairly flexible with Android offering users unlimited levels of customization, some OEMs going as far as aiding the development of aftermarket firmware for their devices.


We are currently in the middle of active software development season for both Android and iOS/iPadOS with Android 12 in its Beta phase for some devices and iOS 15 and iPadOS in similar stages.

Apple has recently made available the iPadOS 15 beta 4 for eligible devices and with it comes a few key changes, all indicative of what we should see in the stable release later this year.

This build has brought with it a change that many iPad users are getting pretty excited about in the built-in Safari browser.

ipados 15 beta 4 safari ui options
iPadOS 15 beta 4 Safari UI options (Click/Tap to Zoom) Source

According to users who have updated their devices to iPadOS 15 beta 4, the new build now allows users to select the version of Safari UI they would like to use.

The two available options are to have a compact tab bar or to have the URL bar and the tabs separated in two rows on top of the browser screen. And the feedback from users has been positive for the most part, borderline baffled.

ipados 15 b4 safari ui

It’s honestly kind of weird to have a pretty different UI option, but I’m very glad they went for that and didn’t simply scrap the new design. I prefer it so much to the old one.

This is good. Apple is giving users to decide what UI to keep and not forcing.

honestly not expecting this. This seems very un-Apple to give their choices an option lol
I’m here for it.

Many users are expressing their disbelief as Apple has added a second option for those not exactly thrilled with the default option, which is a departure from the company’s ‘we-know-best’ attitude towards such matters in the past.

Could this move have been occasioned by the still competition that Android as a platform poses to Apple’s iOS and iPadOS with the bottomless pit of customizability Android users are accorded? I guess we’ll never know.


Now, users just want the same set of options brought over to iOS 15. As to whether we shall see the same come to Safari for iOS in a future beta build or in the stable iOS 15 build remains to be seen.

Until then, we shall continue to keep an eye on the changes that come in these beta builds moving on to the release of the stable iPadOS 15 and iOS 15 so check out our dedicated tracker for more on this.

NOTE: We have these and many more iPadOS stories in our dedicated Apple section.

Featured image source: Apple

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Clinton Madegwa

A cybernaut grasping at all things tech. Lover of Android, Linux, and custom ROMS. A nerd, a writer, an avid reader.