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Apple releases Safari 12 for owners of macOS Sierra & High Sierra

Apple on Monday launched Safari 12 for its two most recent Mac operating systems, Sierra and High Sierra, primarily improving security and privacy.

The updated browser, for example, blocks social media buttons or embedded content from tracking cross-site browsing without permission, and makes it harder for advertisers to identify individual Macs. It will also suggest strong passwords when creating or updating an account, and can flag reused ones.

Extensions are a particular focus, since the update ends support for legacy items that haven't been reviewed by Apple, along with "most" NPAPI (Netscape Plugin Application Programming Interface) plugins. The software will further disable extensions that are hurting performance.

Other security-related touches include the option to block or allow popups on a per-site basis, and miscellaneous vulnerability fixes.

Finally users can now see a website's icon in each tab, making it less confusing to switch.

The updated browser is available through the Software Update tool at the Mac App Store. Safari 12 will come pre-installed with macOS Mojave, which arrives Sept. 24. That upgrade will include features like Stacks, enhanced Quick Look functions, and Mac ports of iOS apps including Home, News, Stocks, and Voice Memos.