To be honest, I haven’t even realised that change until you mentioned it …
As we all know screens get bigger and it’s just more convenient to have essential buttons at the bottom and it actually matches with the general design ideas of apple (for example in contrast to Android the “quick settings” can be accessed by swiping up from the bottom rather than swiping down from the top. Also the fullscreen view of history and booksmarks seems better to be.
Regarding the design it looked slightly better before than now with the popup … but personally functionalty and user friendliness should be more important than design. Especially if the design just looked a little bit better (and also only in my opinion perhaps).
But general the best idea would be to just introduce appearance settings with a switch for the position of that icon.
We all got better things to do … the brave team might have better things to do than making the design perfect for every single user.