With the candidate versions of macOS Monterey and iPadOS 15 that were released to developers today, Apple removed the ability to use the colored tab bar with the separate tab design in Safari.
A tab bar with colors in Safari 15
If you want to have a colored tab bar that blends into the background color of a website, you need to enable the compact tab bar, which is the tab bar design introduced by Apple with macOS Monterey and iPadOS 15 updates. “Show color in compact tab bar” is an option that can be enabled in iPadOS 15.1 and macOS Monterey.
On the iPad, the option is available in the Safari section of the Settings app. Scroll down to find it and activate it, then the color tab interface will show when the iPad uses the compact tab bar.
On the Mac, the Show color in compact tab bar option can be turned on in Safari preferences under Advanced, then Accessibility.
Apple today updated macOS Monterey to revert the design to the original tabs, essentially reversing many of the design changes introduced in Safari with the initial beta release of Monterey. As of now, Big Sur’s standard design is the default, and the compact tab bar is an optional modification that can be enabled.
It’s no surprise that Apple made this change as the color tab bar interface was made for Monterey’s new look and not the old Big Sur design that Apple has now reverted to.
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