For iOS 14, iPadOS 14 and macOS Big Sur, Safari is getting big improvements this year. This week Apple released a document detailing all the changes made to the Safari 14 Beta, now including WebP support, universal extensions and more.
One of this year’s biggest changes is that Safari now supports the WebExtension API in macOS Big Sur. The WebExtension API is a cross-platform technology available for providing cross-platform extensions in Chrome , Firefox, Edge and other browsers.
That means that Mac users will be able to install the same extensions that are available to other Safari web browsers. Developers might also use Xcode 12 to port WebExtensions to native Safari extensions to offer them in the App Store, according to Apple.
Google’s WebP image format is also supported in Safari 14 which allows images with transparency and lower compression but also keeps files smaller.
Safari can play HDR videos for the first time, too, with iOS 14 and macOS Big Sur. The company has enabled the VP9 codec for iOS 14 and tvOS 14 apps, which allows users to watch 4 K HDR videos for the first time on YouTube, but Safari 14 has yet to get this codec.
Not surprisingly, this year’s Flash support was completely removed from Safari, meaning users can no longer install and run Adobe Flash content in Apple’s macOS Big Sur browser. Earlier this year, Apple had announced that Flash would no longer be available in Safari, although Adobe itself said Flash would be discontinued by the end of 2020.
The company is also strengthening its commitment to user privacy by highlighting and blocking trackers of websites, a feature highlighted during the WWDC 2020 keynote. In addition to a monthly report when opening Safari, users can get privacy alerts for each website they visit.
Certain changes include better performance when loading PDF files, increased support for VoiceOver, warnings about potentially leaked passwords and a new way of using Touch ID and Face ID on websites.
The full Safari 14 beta-release notes can be found on the website of Apple.