Some iPadOS 15.1 & macOS Monterey users want Safari color tab (website tinting) design restored

Safari 15, the new version of Apple’s browser arrived last month with a set of functional and aesthetic novelties. Now, an incremental update on iPadOS 15.1 & macOS Monterey reversed some changes on the tab design from Safari.

This decision was made due to some complaints from users for being a bit confusing and unintuitive. However, it seems that the new tab design on Safari 15 was liking more people than Apple thought.

The new browser update for both iPadOS 15.1 and macOS Monterey returns the previous tab design. It seems the company got the impression that the complaints against the new look were so massive as to back down.

Complaints about the new Safari 15 tab design

The new tab design in Safari 15 gave them a rounder and more defined appearance. But this was not the reason for the initial complaints, rather they dynamically adjust to the color of the website.


This means that the web page appears as if it is extended to the edge of the window. Apple saw this as a more aesthetically appealing implementation in theory. However, many users encountered problems identifying active tabs.

The automatic adjustment to the website color brought inconvenience when opening websites with bright colors. For example, if a website presents a color that doesn’t go easy on our eyes, this color could always be present in the tab.

Another of the less liked design changes is the inversion of the color scheme of the tabs. An active tab now has a darker shading, while inactive tabs show lighter shading. So an active tab looks grayer than the rest.

In the old design, there was never any ambiguity about which tab is active. In fact, this is very clear since an active tab was displayed with lighter shading, matching the browser’s toolbar.

Some users ask to restore the new design as standard

Having said the above, the new design won many other fans. This is something that can be noticed in the replies to various reports (1, 2) on the reversal of the iPadOS 15.1 and macOS Monterey tab layout change for Safari.


Among the comments in favor, some point out that the new look was “refreshing” and that it looked better. Anyway, the change seems to be the kind you love or hate, with no middle ground.

Apple is probably working on adjusting the new design based on the complaints received. Hopefully a modified version that everyone can like will be available soon.

Article by Jean Leon

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