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Hands-on with OS X Yosemite: Safari slims down

Jason Snell | July 4, 2014
If there's a single app that defines the OS X experience, it's probably Safari. Not everyone uses it (many of my friends and family members prefer Chrome), but as the default browser it's the window on the Web for most Mac users. I've been using an early developer preview of Yosemite for the past few weeks, and it's clear that Safari is the stock Apple app that will change the most when users install OS X Yosemite upon its arrival this fall.

Another Apple move toward more privacy on the Web is the integration of the DuckDuckGo search engine, which has been added to the previous options of Google, Yahoo, and Bing. DuckDuckGo is most notable for being committed to not collecting or tracking the personal information of its users, in contrast with the more established search engines.

And within the Privacy tab of Safari's Preferences window, there's now increased granularity when it comes to storing cookies and website data, which allows you to limit whether previously-visited websites can track you.

A whole new Safari

The new Safari feels simple and sleek. Its new search and privacy features are welcome. But while I'm grateful that most of the toolbars I rely on can be toggled back on, I'm disappointed with the simplification of the title bar. Webpage titles are important — they should be visible at all times. And full URLs are important, too, and should be visible (at least as an option). I can accept a simplified view of the Web on an iPhone or an iPad, but on my Mac I'd really like the option of seeing more detailed information — especially since my screen space isn't usually at a premium.

 

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