Trying again: Apple's iOS store shenanigans include a subtle & unique catch-22 journalists should grok:

- when apps violate policy, Apple says "use the web"
- ...except every iOS browser is required to use Apple's engine...
- ...and it's Apple keeps it year behind
This is hidden from view because no iOS browser maker dares to submit a browser that shows a "this isn't _real_ Firefox" (e.g.) banner...because what is the user supposed to do? Buy a new phone? They also can't afford to be cut off from all the world's rich users.
But why is Apple's engine & browser years behind?

Because Apple doesn't fund the WebKit team with anything like the headcount they'd need to keep up. And let's keep in mind that this isn't down to some sort of cash crunch.

This is a choice.
The under-funding has compounding consequences:

Developers are used to Apple ignoring; most don't even bother to file bugs on WebKit:

joreteg.com/blog/project-f…

Browser makers who want to co-design new features know asking Apple is stones into a bottomless well (tho we persist).
This leads to a situation where, even when Apple catches up (e.g., Service Workers), critical follow-on features flagged by high-profile sites and partners are missing (e.g., Nav Preload).

All browsers have bugs, but late catch-up + key issues + yearly pace == massive delay.
There's a way out of this problem that doesn't require Apple to invest a reasonable amount in WebKit/Safari (tho everyone would welcome that regardless):

Allow competing browsers, the way *EVERY OTHER OS* does. Other vendors would _love_ to deliver a better web to their users.
So to recap, every time App Store shenanigans flare up, commenters should look hard at the argument that the web on iOS is some sort of alternative. You don't take my word for it, either. Go talk to developers. Do _they_ think Apple's iOS kept-web is good enough?
(typos, FML)

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More from @slightlylate

17 Aug
Now imagine a world where Apple hadn't cut off the web at the knees and the things we regularly do on Android were possible, e.g.: WebGL 2, WASM threads (soon), Audio Worklets, large media storage, prompted PWA install, push notifications -- not to mention the upcoming stuff...
...backpressure for sockets, web transport, web codecs, WebGPU when it's ready (not when Apple deigns), payment handlers, etc. etc.

🍎 has used control not just to curate the store but also prevent the web from being a viable alternative & it's a goddamned scandal.
"oh, but feature X is in a tech preview" is the new "believing FB when they say they have 'more work to do'".

At some point you have to look at the pace and trend and conclude that not allowing other engines is strategic.
Read 4 tweets
19 Apr
I don't usually do this, but it's about public health and this site is getting a lot of press and HOLY !*#$ WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE REACT COMMUNITY!?:

webpagetest.org/result/200419_…
This feels like the right place to invoke @tomskitomski:



If I had to guess, this probably wasn't ever tested on anything w/o a "Designed in Cupertino" badge.
It's *more than 900K of JS* to see the headline data. A screen shot is significantly smaller.

Nothing about this is OK.
Read 5 tweets
28 Feb
Increasingly distracted by the Performance Inequality Gap: the difference between those in the high-performance bubble thinking they're increasing richness without decreasing reach, but who are actually tanking reach by making content inaccessibly slow.
Users with the fastest devices and networks -- which includes ~all developers and business decision makers -- are leaning into technologies (JS) that, by their very nature, are decreasing the reach and usability of their services for users outside the bubble.
These devs & managers benefit from the Performance Inequality Gap in many (often indirect) ways, but not nearly as much as their now-margninalized users (and their businesses) lose.
Read 9 tweets
3 Nov 19
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).
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: developer.apple.com/app-store/revi…
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:

web-confluence.appspot.com/#!/confluence
Read 9 tweets
12 Oct 19
It's infinitely frustrating to see press coverage of HKmap.live that doesn't *actually link to HKmap.live* which is a real, bona-fide website that does the job.
This article has *25* other links, but doesn't actually link to HKmap.live

🤦‍♂️ buzzfeednews.com/article/alexka…

The hell are you doing, @BuzzFeedNews?
@BuzzFeedNews @voxdotcom: this article contains 22 links and talks about HKmap.live, but doesn't link it. Wut.

vox.com/recode/2019/10…

/cc @Pinboard
Read 6 tweets
5 Oct 19
The problem is that nobody really does "mobile-first".

~everybody designs/builds on desktop, and few know about or use chrome://inspect as they core of their workflow:

developers.google.com/web/tools/chro…
When you build with desktop-era frameworks, to desktop resource limits, only occasionally (if ever) marking your experience to the market reality of the median or P90 device, you lay down a structurally broken experience, one brick at a time.
Browser DevTools (including Chrome's) don't do nearly enough to highlight how bad the situation really is, and how deeply unrepresentative the developer devices are, even when "emulating" slower CPUs & Networks.
Read 5 tweets

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