iOS 8 Private Browsing Mode: Not as Private as You Think

iOS 8 comes with all sorts of new features, including improved notifications, a better iMessage, and the new HealthKit app. However, iOS 8 also has a lot of subtle changes over iOS 7, and one of those changes deals with how the Safari app handles Private Browsing Mode.

Safari’s Private Browsing Mode allows users to surf the web on their mobile devices without any of the history being saved, and while most people think it’s used for that one particular purpose, Private Browsing Mode has all sorts of implications.


However, it was discovered that Private Browsing Mode isn’t really all that private anymore in iOS 8.

When you left Private Browsing Mode in iOS 7, you would receive a pop-up that asked you if you wanted to close all of your open tabs before exiting Private Browsing Mode. However, that prompt is gone in iOS 8. Instead, when you exit Private Browsing Mode, all of your tabs that you had open are still there. Granted, you can still close them all out, but if someone else were to open Safari on your iPhone or iPad and switch to Private Browsing Mode themselves, they can view the tabs that you had open when you exited Private Browsing Mode.

Instead of getting that pop-up to close all of your open tabs, you now have to close out each individual tab in Private Browsing Mode on iOS 8, which is kind of a pain in the butt if you use that feature a lot.


iOS 8 Safari


Furthermore, Private Browsing Mode and the normal mod now run at the same time in Safari on iOS 8, which makes it even easier to access Private Browsing Mode and quickly take a gander at any tabs that were left open. When in Private Mode, you can pinch the screen and see all your open tabs that you have open, and then you can tap Private Mode in the toolbar and you go back to normal browsing.

Plus, many users are also noticing that the predictive text feature on the iOS keyboard learns things that you type in Private Browsing Mode in Safari, and it will be used in the future even while not being in private mode.

If this is something that you’re not a huge fan of, go ahead and provide some feedback to Apple. The more complaints that there are about this, the greater the chance that Apple might actually do something and update iOS 8 to not include this feature.

Of course, this isn’t the only complaint from iOS 8 users. The last couple of minor updates have been causing all sorts of issues for iPhone 6 owners. Some users reported that even after updating to iOS 8.0.2, the Springboard crashes and restarts constantly. Furthermore, other users still reported that they couldn’t get any cell service after updating to iOS 8.0.2.


iPhone 6

Over on our end, a member of the GottaBeMobile team said that he was having issues as well on his iPhone 6 Plus, where the screen wouldn’t respond suddenly at random times. The only solution that has been found so far for this is restoring the iPhone 6 in DFU mode, but even then the screen won’t respond.

Shortly after releasing iOS 8.0.1 to the public, Apple pulled the update because many users were having major problems with it. While they could downgrade back to iOS 8.0.0, Apple went ahead and just pulled the plug on the update at the time until iOS 8.0.2 released.

iOS 8.0.1 came with a handful of bug fixes and improvements including fixes for the keyboards, Photo Library, unexpected cellular data usage when receiving SMS or MMS messages, and much more. Overall, the update just seems to fix a few problems that have plagued users who installed the update on launch day, but it’s been causing more harm than good lately.