A little encouraging news from WebKit

I know no one is excited about the browser standards, but this bit of development from the WebKit team (under Apple) and the browser engine underpinning Safari, is ecouraging.

Web Push for Web Apps on iOS and iPadOS | WebKit

Since the first iPhone, users could add any website to their Home Screen — whether it’s a brochure site, a blog, a newspaper, an online store, a social media platform, a streaming video site, productivity software, an application for creating artwork, or any other type of website. For the last ten years, users of Safari on iOS and iPadOS could do this by tapping the Share button to open the Share menu, and then tapping “Add to Home Screen”. The icon for that website then appears on their Home Screen, where a quick tap gets them back to the site.

Now with iOS and iPadOS 16.4 beta 1, we are adding support for Web Push to Home Screen web apps. Web Push makes it possible for web developers to send push notifications to their users through the use of Push APINotifications API, and Service Workers all working together.

Safari is so stunted that anything which makes it “standards compliant” is hailed as a development. Apple is known to drip feed “innovation” – a new product that isn’t as bad as the competition, but anything that brings it at par is hailed as innovation.

These are possibly in response to looming regulatory headwinds for their cash rich App Store. If applications can be run in the browser itself, why bother with alternative stores? Either way, this should have a significant impact on the idea of having “apps for everything”.

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