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Safari could get a killer Dark mode upgrade in next iOS update

iOS 15 features Safari
(Image credit: Apple)

It looks like the next iOS 15 update could come with a big upgrade to Safari. This enhancement will be specifically focused on the web browser’s Dark mode, and will allow users to set a display preference for individual websites.

Currently Dark mode can only be switched fully on or completely off, there’s no way to switch back and forth without venturing into the menus. A forthcoming update will reportedly change that and offer the ability to enable Dark mode for individual websites. 

This will allow iOS users to account for websites that may not display properly in either Light or Dark mode and temporarily switch between the two display modes on per website basis. 

This potential new feature was found in Webkit, which is the engine that powers Apple’s Safari browser. Webkit is an open-source project hosted on Github (opens in new tab), and 9to5Mac (opens in new tab) spotted a new addition to the code which allows for “overriding the system color-scheme with a per-website preference."

Dark mode was first introduced in iOS 13, and since then has become the default setting for many users. It’s so popular that several of the biggest websites on the net have updated their own interface to be compatible with Dark mode. However, some websites don’t display correctly in the dimmed display mode, but this upgrade should go some way to addressing that particular problem. 

This Dark mode upgrade isn’t the only new feature unearthed in the Webkit engine. It also looks like Apple is developing tools to allow users to block pops that are craftly designed to look like system alerts. Apple also appears to be working on a new API that could help manage the “Cookie Consent” agreements that many websites ask visitors to confirm before browsing. 

There’s no exact timeframe on when these features are expected to rollout. They are listed as “TBA” (to be announced) in the Webkit engine. Apple may opt to include them in its next iOS 15 update, which could be detailed at the upcoming Apple Peek Performance event on March 8, or they may be held until later in the year when iOS 16 is expected to debut.  

Rory Mellon

Rory is a Deals Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on deals, gaming and streaming. When he’s not scouring retailers for PS5 restock or writing hot takes on the latest gaming hardware and streaming shows, he can be found attending music festivals and being thoroughly disappointed by his terrible football team.