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Aubrey Portwood
Aubrey Portwood

Posted on • Updated on

Just replaced Safari with Orion on my Mac and my iPhone (See Update)

Update, Dec 5, 2022 8:49 AM: Turns out Orion doesn't have form autofill, something I have to have.

Maybe if they bring this to Orion I'll try again...

Yup, I’ve been demoing Orion as a possible replacement for Safari (w/out loosing many of the features of Safari) for weeks now, and moments ago Orion became my daily driver for both my Mac and my iPhone.

Note, it is not my daily-driver for development, I recently switched to Vivaldi for that.

A few things I have been loving about Orion.

It's Safari

Under the hood it's basically running Webkit, and of course on iOS it's obviously running the same. This means I don't loose out on features like selecting text in images/video, etc.

Compact toolbar

Orion compact toolbar

I like normal tabs and I don't want my UI taking up a ton of space. Orion features a truly compact toolbar and nice rounded tabs.

Profiles for Orion

I'm also not sure what I will do with this feature (separate profiles, think Firefox containers), but it might come in handy later...

Tab Groups / Manage Windows

Tab groups in Orion

One thing I love about Safari is the Tab Group features. Orion does the same thing called Manage Windows, and it even opens a new window for the session vs. switching away from your active session.

Reading List

Reading list still works in Orion

I didn't loose out on the Reading List feature of Safari either.

Reading List Manager in Orion

You can even manage your reading list, which is a huge improvement over Safari!

Ad blocking built-in

I had to download an extension to get ad-blocking into Safari. Orion comes with it built-in!


I don't usually use extensions much in Safari for casual browsing (except for ad-blocking). But I have confirmed that you can install Chrome & Firefox extensions.


Now that you can set a default browser in iOS, there are a few features I really like about the iOS app.

Touch-ID protected private mode

Sometimes I want to look at web-sites w/out my family accidentally seeing it, especially with my kids grabbing my phone to listen to Taylor swift. Not only can you have private tabs, but you can also put them behind your finger-print. Nice.

I know what you're thinking....stop.

Rich Settings

The settings in the iOS app have just about everything, down to the user-agent used, etc.

Rich settings in Orion for iOS


I haven't played around with this either, but being able to use extensions in iOS is nice.

.com and @ in my keyboard

Keyboard in Orion for iOS

Having these little symbols in my keyboard makes navigating things a lot easier. I've been waiting for this to show up in Safari...

Passwords still work

Passwords in Orion, just like iOS

This just barely touches the surface, but it was a hard decision. I try and use the Apple eco-system apps as much as I can. But, Orion gave me an opporitunity to replace Safari withouth losing Safari, so I made the switch.

Tomorrow I might go right back to Safari for some reason, I don't know. But Orion (for now, until Safari improves) seems like a solid choice.

Top comments (1)

aubreypwd profile image
Aubrey Portwood

Just updated this post. Turns out Orion has very poor autofill for forms, something I rely on to not be annoyed by government forms and the like. An essential feature. And just like that Safari's back in my dock.