An unsung iPhone Safari improvement?

There was a small but nice improvement in Safari that came with the iPhone 2.0 upgrade. I haven’t seen it posted anywhere else, so maybe it’s escaped notice.

Before the upgrade, tapping a webapp’s icon on your home screen would usually launch the webapp in a new tab in Safari1. I often found myself with two, three, or even four versions of Weather Underground or Hahlo in separate Safari tabs. I’d then scroll around and close the older ones to avoid overwhelming the browser. I actually stopped using the home screen icons for webapps--using bookmarks instead--to avoid creating the tab clutter in the first place.

But since the 2.0 upgrade, Safari has been smart enough to know whether the tapped webapp’s URL is already open in one of its tabs; if it is, Safari scrolls over to that tab and reloads the page.

It is, as I say, a small thing, but it makes the iPhone experience more pleasant.

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  1. I think a new tab would not be created only if the tapped webapp was already occupying the current tab.