Apple is Holding the Web Back with 'Uniquely Underpowered' iOS Browser, Says Google Engineer
Wednesday May 5, 2021. 09:20 PM , from Slashdot
On iOS, Apple wants all the browsers to run WebKit. Even Google Chrome is forced to use WebKit on iOS devices. Alex Russel, Google's engineer, in a blog post outlines his case: Apple's iOS browser (Safari) and engine (WebKit) are uniquely under-powered. Consistent delays in the delivery of important features ensure the web can never be a credible alternative to its proprietary tools and App Store. Alex has cited an example of this by mentioning Stadia and other cloud gaming services. Apple did not allow those services to be available on the App Store and pushed them to use the web instead, which requires Apple to allow gamepad APIs so controllers can be used with these new web apps. That is a function that other browsers have offered for a long time except on iOS. He writes: Suppose Apple had implemented WebRTC and the Gamepad API in a timely way. Who can say if the game streaming revolution now taking place might have happened sooner? It's possible that Amazon Luna, NVIDIA GeForce NOW, Google Stadia, and Microsoft xCloud could have been built years earlier. It's also possible that APIs delivered on every other platform, but not yet available on any iOS browser (because Apple), may hold the key to unlocking whole categories of experiences on the web. Blog WCCFTech adds: Alex has also talked about how iOS browsers are underpowered in several other places compared to the competition. For starters, iOS browsers lack push notifications, standardized Progressive Web App (PWA) install buttons, background sync, and numerous other tools that make it easier for developers to make fully functional web apps. Access to hardware such as Bluetooth, USB, and NFC are also not easily available. Last but not least, the royalty-free AV1 standard is also not available.
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