Apple detailed the improvements it made to the Safari browser on Monday, saying that new features such as an ad tracker blocker and auto stop for videos have been added to the browser. Apart from detailing the new features, Apple also took the opportunity to downplay its top rival Chrome.
What encouraged Apple?
Apple is more focused on desktop Safari because it noticed a pop-up displayed by Google on its home page stating that Chrome is faster. Federighi told Daring Fireball’s John Gruber that every time someone opens their browser and lands on a particular search engine, there is an ad suggesting that if they install Chrome, they will get a faster browser.
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“That eventually, it seeps in, and people stop … Marketing, where that’s coming from,” the executive said. “And so we thought we’d bring some knowledge.”
Though Apple also uses its platform to promote Safari to Mac users, Google’s ads are perhaps stronger and hard to miss, notes Business Insider.
Safari now blocks annoying autoplay videos
Customers have long been protesting auto-play videos and ad pop-ups. Though there are various options to block third-party cookies (history can also be deleted and privacy settings can be changed on all main browsers), Safari has the feature to block third-party cookies set to default.
Safari will also take care of trackers known as Intelligent Tracking Prevention. With the help of machine learning, Apple’s browser will spot the cross-site trackers and make sure that they do not track users. Those who want privacy while browsing will want to consider such feature. However, it is not yet known if the new feature will take care of videos on Facebook and Twitter, where auto-play is a default feature.
The move comes in response to the increasing pressure faced by digital marketing and media to improve the browsing experience of customers while giving better results to advertisers. Earlier, Google also confirmed that it will launch an ad filter in Chrome to block irksome ad formats from loading.
What’s new with High Sierra?
Apple also released the next MacOS called High Sierra, which will start shipping this fall and will be given as a free upgrade to Mac users who supported Sierra last year. The beta version of High Sierra has been released, whereas the final version is expected to come towards the end of this month. One of the major changes in High Sierra is the replacement of the decade-old HFS files system with the brand new Apple File System (APFS). High Sierra will offer better security, performance and data reliability.
Further, common functions such as copying the file and protecting data in the occurrence of power cuts and system crashes will be more efficient. MacOS Sierra now also supports virtual reality, and this will run on the new powerful iMacs set for release. In addition, High Sierra will support Split View Mail Compose, wherein a user can split the window pane to compose mail and in various other applications.