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Web developers challenge Apple to allow other mechanisms in iOS

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Apple has faced several allegations of anti-competitive practices in recent years, and it looks like there are more to come. This time, a group of developers released a project called “Open Web AdvocacyWhich challenges Apple to allow other browser mechanisms on iOS.

The group wants developers to be able to access the same features available in the iOS version of Safari. At the same time, it asks Apple to unlock iOS for third-party browser engines.

For those unfamiliar, iOS relies on the WebKit engine, which not only powers Safari, but all web content on Apple’s operating system. Indeed, unlike macOS, iOS applications must use WebKit as the browser engine. In other words, every web browser or web app you see on iOS is essentially Safari running on some other “surface”.

“The group’s motivation is to try to convince Apple that they need to allow other browser mechanisms on iOS so that iOS can be a better platform to develop things for the modern web,” Lawson explained. Because now every browser on iOS, whether it’s the Chrome, Firefox or Edge badge, is really just a branded Safari theme, which is left behind. [other browsers] Because there is no competition for iOS.

as the band said diskHowever, restricting apps to WebKit has become a problem because developers cannot access some of Safari’s features.

For example, full-screen functionality is limited in third-party browsers, and Apple prevents Apple Pay from integrating with Safari. At the same time, web applications cannot run in full screen mode and third-party browsers do not provide the option to add a web application to the home screen. Developers also complain about the lack of Web NFC and other APIs in iOS WebKit.

The group’s main idea is to take their concerns to the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to convince them that Apple needs to change its policies.

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Safari has been lagging behind its competitors for a while now, and it’s become apparent Users were switching to other web browsers. There is a consensus among developers on this. There are a lot of missing features in Safari They are required to use Apple technologies with more restrictions in their applications.

Apple, of course, has its own reasons for pushing WebKit adoption on iOS. More than keeping users under the Safari engine, it gives the company more control over the web app experience, which has become popular among App Store banned platforms (such as Microsoft’s Xbox cloud games).

If Apple allows developers to adopt third-party browser engines with access to all iOS APIs, it will ultimately hurt App Store business.

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