How to bookmark Safari tab groups (and other bookmarking tips)

And a big welcome back to AppleHolic readers. Today I wanted to explain how to make better use of Safari Tabs in iOS 15, iPad OS 15 and macOS Monterey – especially for researchers.

Slowly getting used to Safari Tabs

There are things I like about Apple’s new tab support in Safari. Where it shines is the delivery of contextualized collections of web pages across all my devices, though I do feel some friction when trying to use the new browser.

Why can’t I place specific tabs in specific tab groups using the Share menu? Why is it not clear how to add a page to a tab group? Why is it not immediately obvious how to store these pages, which otherwise disappear when closed on any device?

I feel that the usability is still not quite right, which is why on some devices I have tried to roll back as many of these changes as I can.

But time goes on and most people will use the standard system now that it is universally available. And even though it took me some time to get used to it, I find some features more useful than expected.

How to use Safari Tabs for research

Safari tabs are moderately useful for research. Imagine you are working on a project about dogs (and everyone should love these animals). The first thing you need to do is create a Safari tab group called ‘dogs’, because this is where you will insert all your dog-related pages until you save them as bookmarks (more on that later).

Creating a new group is a little different on each device. To create a new Safari tab group:

  • On iPhone, you have to press and hold double squares icon at the bottom right of the browser page, press Move to tab group, and then press New tab group.
  • On iPad, you want to open the sidebar and then press and hold the new one double rectangle with plus sign icon at the top right of the bar and select New empty tab group or New tab group, which will contain your currently open tabs.
  • On Mac, you want to open the sidebar and then press and hold the new one double rectangle with plus sign icon at the top right of the bar and select New empty tab group or New tab group.

OK, so now you’ve created a group.

[Also read: 12+ tips to make remote meetings more effective]

What this means is that while working on your project, you will be able to add individual pages to the relevant tab group after tap and hold on the site’s address bar (iPad, iPhone) and select Move to tab group; or control click tab (instead of address) on the Mac and select Move to tab group in the context menu that appears.

I’m far from feeling natural around this. But I like that no matter which page I have open on one of my devices in one of my tab groups, it becomes immediately available on all my other devices.

What I do not like is that they are not saved. So if you accidentally close a page (such as when you fumble to export it to another group), it’s gone. Therefore, you need this tip:

How to bookmark your open Safari tabs

The best way to save a web page inside Safari is to bookmark the page. As you work with Apple’s new tab groups, get used to different ways of achieving this need on each Apple platform.

On the iPad, do it like this:

To bookmark all the tabs you have open in your current Safari Tabs space on your iPad, do the following:

  • Touch and hold the address bar (not a sidebar bar) until you see a context menu that offers copy, add to reading list, add bookmark, and add bookmarks for XX tabs.
  • To bookmark your open Safari tabs, select Add bookmarks to XX tabs.
  • You will be able to select the location and name of the collection on the next page, then press Save.

If you’re using an iPhone, do it this way:

To bookmark all the Safari tabs you have open in your current Safari tab on your iPhone, use a completely different approach:

  • Tap and hold the bookmark icon at the bottom of the browser.
  • Select Add bookmarks to XX tabs.
  • Select a location and a name and press Save.

And if you’re on a Mac …

How do you bookmark all your open Safari tabs on a Mac? While in the appropriate roof group, move the mouse up to the menu bar, select Bookmarks, and then select Add Bookmarks for these XX tabs.

Tab Summary

Although I find Safari tabs more useful than expected, I think both the tab and bookmark management features need to be made clearly and consistently accessible via the pane across all devices. This would reduce user friction and provide a smoother and more visible user experience.

In its current form, I can imagine people thinking they had saved a page by placing it in a tab group, only to find that they had not done so when they closed the page.

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