An investigation is currently underway by a British agency into Apple and Safari. And it seems the UK isn’t alone in raising its eyebrows when it comes to: Apple’s web browser. Telegram founder Pavel Durov has now publicly criticized the iOS version of Safari, accusing it of limiting developer options for the web.
Telegram founder not very happy with Safari on iOS
Durov has shared his criticism of his public channel on Telegram† He claims that Apple is intentionally restricting the functions of web apps and that this limits developers in what they can do in iOS. The restrictions that Apple currently has on web apps also affect the web version of Telegram. In addition, he suspects that Apple’s reasoning behind this is to force users to download native apps from the App Store, and he raises the issue of the 30% commission Apple charges for App Store purchases. Many developers have had problems with the infamous ‘Apple Tax’, as this 30% discount has been unofficially called (remember the Epic vs Apple Lawsuit? It was about the same thing).
Telegram is available on the App Store; However, not everything went smoothly for the company (via 9to5Mac† In the past, Telegram has reportedly had issues with Apple’s review process because of its public channels (where there are no content restrictions). Telegram has a web version with the same features, but it is also limited on iPads and iPhones.
“Safari is destroying the web,” Durov points out, citing developers complaining about Apple’s native browser and a blog post on HTTP Toolkit, which lists multiple ways Safari isn’t helping the web. The blog post lists reasons such as the omission of features in Safari, many bugs present and slow to fix them, and the Chrome team’s ignoring of suggested APIs.
Apart from citing the aforementioned article, Durov also emphasizes that Telegram developers have identified a list of 10 problems they have with Safari on iOS. One is the lack of push notifications, random reloads, slow application of blur effects, and visual artifacts that sometimes appear. The post also includes a few more development-related things that are missing from Safari’s toolkit.
The British research, which we mentioned at the beginning of this article, is also highlighted in Durov’s post. He hopes the research will lead to regulatory action against Apple Safari’s limitations and shortcomings.
The investigation he is talking about will in fact be led by the British CMA, a watchdog recently found Apple and Google have an “effective duopoly” in the mobile technology market because of Safari and Chrome. The agency will now examine Safari’s WebKit limitations to determine whether they hurt competition and innovation.