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Alex Russell
There seems to be confusion about how, exactly, Apple keeps the web second-class on iOS. Understandable! It's the interplay of several interlocking effects. Let's examine them (thread).
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Alex Russell Nov 3
Replying to @slightlylate
First, no matter how app-like it is, Section 4.2 of the App Store Review Guidelines excludes web experiences from being discovered via the search box where users go to add things to their homescreen. Structural prejudice against the web by policy:
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Alex Russell Nov 3
Replying to @slightlylate
Next, Apple under-invests in Safari's engine (WebKit) in ways that cumulatively make it difficult to do anything new and ambitious. The cumulative effect of the under-investment is hard to overstate, but it can be graphed:
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Alex Russell Nov 3
Replying to @slightlylate
On every other OS, the way we have dealt with laggard browsers is through competition. Remember haranguing friends and family to install Firefox? I sure do. Apple broke that too, via Section 2.5.6:
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Alex Russell Nov 3
Replying to @slightlylate
Section 2.5.6 is the Hotel Cupertino clause: you can pick any browser you like, but you can't choose a better web. In fact, iOS prevents other browsers from even replacing Safari as the system default. 2.5.6 caps web progress at the rate that Apple (under) invests.
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Alex Russell Nov 3
Replying to @slightlylate
All of this has been done to preserve the linkage between proprietary OS/APIs, an exclusive software ecosystem, and the hardware sales that software ecosystem supports. The easiest iOS device sale is the upgrader who is worried about losing their software if they switch horses.
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Alex Russell Nov 3
Replying to @slightlylate
If you're a web developer, this means that iOS -- the whole OS -- is the new IE6. Your CEO and wealthiest users won't switch off it, so it taxes everything you do. They also can't imagine the web being great because, for them, it isn't.
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Alex Russell Nov 3
Replying to @slightlylate
If you make your living on the web, it's crucial to understand that Apple is *not on your side*. Every dollar you spend on iOS hardware is a vote against your future.
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Alex Russell Nov 3
Replying to @slightlylate
A necessary addendum: don't take this out on the WebKit team. All of these decisions were made far above their pay-grade. They want a web that can work just as much as you do. Yes, they're Apple employees, but just as oppressed by this as the rest of us.
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Martin Bech Nov 3
Replying to @slightlylate
I call bullshit.. I’ve worked on a couple of pretty big, crossplatform, web apps, and the 2 major issues are, 1 performance issues on low-medium end android devices, 2 inconsistensies between android devices.
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Alex Russell Nov 3
Replying to @bechtweets
1sr issue is exacerbated by privilege bubble that Apple devices perpetuate. The platform is held back by Apple SW, but their outstanding HW also masks the problems with modern webdev stack for those who could do something about it. Would like to understand 2nd issue better.
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