Apple’s in-house browser, Safari, has received some new features with version 14 on macOS Catalina. You can now set a custom background image and check the number of trackers being blocked by the browser.
Here are some of the new features and changes that are part of the new Safari 14 update.
Set Custom Background Image On Safari
Google Chrome introduced themes a long time ago. While Safari is a polished browser, not many customization options were available until now. It’s a start from Apple, adding the background images to the start page.
To set a background image, open the Safari 14 Start Page, click on the ‘☰’ icon at the bottom-right corner of the page. A pop-up menu will open with rectangular boxes at the bottom. Click the ‘+’ icon to add a custom image, or scroll horizontally to choose from Apple’s preset backgrounds.
Privacy Report on Safari
A new privacy feature is now added to the start page in Safari 14. You can now get an instant privacy report on the Safari start page itself. You’ll also notice a ‘shield’ icon on the immediate left side of the search bar. You can click that button and check recently blocked trackers from a website.
You can also access the entire privacy report from the shield icon. It tells you how many trackers were blocked by the browser in the last 30 days. It also lists websites and the number of trackers blocked from each site.
Apple was among the first to ban third-party cookies, and now it is showing you while it does so.
Apple has polished the existing features in Safari 14 with this update. Favorites are now presented as square icons with rounded corners. Frequently visited sites are now neatly organized in rectangular frames with rounded edges, giving a preview of the websites.
You can now hover the mouse pointer over a tab, and Safari will show you a preview of its contents. It’s a useful feature for people who use multiple tabs at once.
The sidebar still shows the Reading List, and you can also see it at the bottom of the start page. The reading list also follows a neat setup with rectangular boxes.
Long Way To Go
Apple has introduced many privacy-related features in the iOS 14 update, also implementing them on the Mac. However, the customization options still remain limited on Safari. There are way more extensions available for Chrome or Firefox.
A background image on the Start Page is nice, but we’ve already seen themes on Google Chrome, customizing the overall look of your web browser. I think Apple still has a long way to go in enabling customization on Safari.