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Yesterday, Apple released Safari 13 for iOS 13, macOS 10.15 (Catalina), macOS Mojave, and macOS High Sierra. This release comes with opt-in dark mode support, FIDO2-compliant USB security keys support, updated Intelligent Tracking Prevention, and much more.

Key updates in Safari 13

Desktop-class browsing for iPad users

Starting with Safari 13, iPad users will have the same browsing experience as macOS users. In addition to displaying websites same as the desktop Safari, it will also provide the same capabilities including more keyboard shortcuts, a download manager with background downloads, and support for top productivity websites.

Updates related to authentication and passwords

Safari 13 will prompt users to strengthen their passwords when they sign into a website. On macOS, users will able to use FIDO2-compliant USB security keys in Safari. Also, support is added for “Sign in With Apple” to Safari and WKWebView.

Read also: W3C and FIDO Alliance declare WebAuthn as the web standard for password-free logins

Security and privacy updates

A new permission API is added for DeviceMotionEvent and DeviceOrientationEvent on iOS. The DeviceMotionEvent class encapsulates details like the measurements of the interval, rotation rate, and acceleration of a device. Whereas, the DeviceOrientationEvent class encapsulates the angles of rotation (alpha, beta, and gamma) in degrees and heading.

Other updates include updated third-party iframes to prevent them from automatically navigating the page. Intelligent Tracking Prevention is updated to prevent cross-site tracking through referrer and link decoration.

Performance-specific updates

While using Safari 13, iOS users will find that the initial rendering time for web pages is reduced. The memory consumption by JavaScript including for non-web clients is also reduced.

WebAPI updates

Safari 13 comes with a new Pointer Events API to enable consistent access to mouse, trackpad, touch, and Apple Pencil events. It also supports the Visual Viewport API that adjusts web content to avoid overlays, such as the onscreen keyboard.

Deprecated features in Safari 13

WebSQL and Legacy Safari Extensions are no longer supported. To replace your previously provided Legacy Safari Extensions, Apple provides two options. First, you can configure your Safari App Extension to provide an upgrade path that will automatically remove the previous Legacy Safari Extension when it is installed. Second, you can manually convert your Legacy Safari Extension to a Safari App Extension.

In a discussion on Hacker News, users were pleased with the support for the Pointer Events API. A user commented, “The Pointer Events spec is a real joy. For example, if you want to roll your own “drag” event for a given element, the API allows you to do this without reference to document or a parent container element. You can just declare that the element currently receiving pointer events capture subsequent pointer events until you release it. Additionally, the API naturally lends itself to patterns that can easily be extended for multi-touch situations.

Others also expressed their concern regarding the deprecation of Legacy Safari Extensions. A user added, “It really, really is a shame that they removed proper extensions. While Safari never had a good extension story, it was at least bearable, and in all other regards its simply the best Mac browser. Now I have to take a really hard look at switching back to Firefox, and that would be a downgrade in almost every regard I care about. Pity.

Check out the official release notes of Safari 13 to know more in detail.

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