After IE exited, Apple Safari became the browser that developers hated the most?

After IE exited, Apple Safari became the browser that developers hated the most?

In the past, if you mentioned the browser that developers hated the most, it must have been IE browser: poor compatibility, frequent security vulnerabilities, lack of the latest technical support, and because many corporate websites require IE support, even developers No matter how unhappy, I can only be forced to continue using IE helplessly.

This situation has undergone subtle changes after Microsoft announced that IE browser will be deactivated next year. IE browser is about to withdraw from the stage of history, so who will become the next most hated browser for developers?

The answer is probably the second-to-last Apple Safari browser in the minds of many developers. Compared with other mainstream browsers (Chrome, Edge, Firefox) , Safari lags behind in supporting modern Web API and support for WebRTC and other functions. This is a great opportunity for developers who want to create the same product on all major browsers. A lot of extra work came.

After IE exited, Apple Safari became the browser that developers hated the most?

(Picture from Apple’s official website)

1. There are restrictions on PWA

PWA, or Progressive Web App, is a modern browser technology. Developers can use PWA to create a website that looks and runs similar to a local application on a smartphone, tablet, or desktop.

The PWA website can realize the following functions: hide the browser UI in full screen; operating system-level notifications and reminders; can be used when the device is offline; local data storage and retrieval; install application icons on the main screen of the phone; access to cameras such as cameras , Microphone, USB port and other hardware functions.

All of this can be achieved through the so-called PWA technology, which does not need to be compiled or submitted to the app store for review. Nowadays, the foreign social platform Twitter and the taxi-hailing app Uber are the best examples.

But Apple Safari’s support for PWA has been delayed for a long time. Even if it supports this feature, there are certain restrictions on it. Developers can’t fully implement the desired functions, such as allowing message notifications and creating home screen icon shortcuts. Wait-and this is only a small part of Apple’s many restrictions.

So why impose restrictions on PWA? Apple explained that it is for user privacy, but most people think that Apple is to ensure that the App Store 30%. After all, if there is a fully functional PWA application and users can achieve in-app purchases, Apple will not be able to extract 30% of the profits from it.

Previously, the controversy about Apple’s restriction of PWA was limited to the Web developer community, but recently due to Epic lawsuits and antitrust investigations, this issue has become well known. Due to regulatory pressure, Apple may expand PWA in an all-round way in the future, but considering Apple’s consistent strength, the final result remains to be seen.

2. Lagging support for WebRTC and other functions

In addition to their dissatisfaction with restricted PWAs, web developers have also complained that Safari has been lagging behind supporting key Web API and CSS features that other mainstream browsers have.

With WebRTC, for example, its wholly-called Real-Time Communication Web (network real-time communication) , is a technology that allows browsers to support real-time voice conversation or video conversation. This technology was formerly known as GIPS and was developed by Global IP Solutions. Later, Google acquired the company for US$68.2 million in 2010 and renamed GIPS to WebRTC, and open sourced it the following year.

Driven by Google, WebRTC technology is quickly applied in major mainstream browsers. Chrome, Firefox, and Opera have all joined the WebRTC base camp, but Safari, like IE, which has always been criticized, has never supported this technology.

It was not until 2017 that Apple announced on WWDC17 that Safari officially supports WebRTC technology. The time difference between this and other mainstream browsers such as Chrome and Firefox supporting this technology is really too large, so some people still regard this as a “mocking point” of Apple.

In addition, like PWA, even though it supports WebRTC, compared with other browsers, WebRTC has many problems on Safari. For example, Safari did not support the VP9 video codec and WebP image compression format (both are currently supported) .

3. The speed of solving problems and updating is slow

Based on the above two problems, developers often report many errors in implementing Web API and CSS functions in Safari to Apple. However, Apple has been very slow to solve the problems.

Not to mention whether Apple will pay attention to the problem you raised, even if it is solved, Safari will not be updated regularly and automatically like Chrome and Firefox. Want to make Safari update faster? Sorry, it can only follow the entire operating system. In other words, how slow the system update is, Safari will be slow to solve the problem. At this point, Apple may be able to learn from Microsoft: the same is the browser that comes with the system, Edge has adopted automatic updates.

However, the existence of the above problems does not affect the fact that Safari is an excellent browser, fast performance and excellent privacy protection are its highlights. It’s just that Safari’s problems have caused many developers to feel headaches to a certain extent, especially when Apple devices are becoming more popular (yesterday, Apple released its third-quarter financial report for 2021, and iPhone sales increased by nearly 50%) . Due to the difference in Safari, they cannot create a great experience for all browser platforms at once.

So, which browser do you hate the most?

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