Recently, Apple has announced the release of iOS 11.3 update to multiple Apple devices. The hidden feature of this release is the Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) running onto the iOS 11.3.
We all have been aware that earlier, only Android supported PWAs but with the Apple’s latest news to run PWAs on the Safari browser version 11.1 has made PWAs on iOS will definitely bring out a lot of new features and great user experience.
With the support of the Web App Manifest standards and the Service workers on the Safari browser, PWAs can run on multiple-platform.
Before we go more deeply into this article, let’s get familiar with the terminology we are focusing that is PWAs. The general definition of PWA offers the combinations of best features of both the native and web while eliminating the restrictions of the native applications.
In this article, we are going to discuss the following points:
So, what we are waiting for, let’s get into the depth of this topic and find out all you need to know about the PWA for iOS 11.3.
Problems that make running Progressive Web Apps difficult on iOS:
PWAs feature that enables applications to run in offline mode can’t work on the iOS devices. The reason is that iOS clears up the cache of PWAs if they are unused for a specific amount of time. Thus, all your stored data is deleted or lost and you need to reload them again. Furthermore, a user can’t send the push notifications.
Another issue that arises in the iOS while incorporating PWAs is that, a user receives multiple copies of the same app when the user calls up the PWAs under iOS.
This is due to the fact that there are three web contents that Apple has to display. They are:
- Safari view controller
- Web App
- Web view
All these web content works differently and doesn’t share common Service Worker. This is why when PWA under iOS is called, a user receives three or multiple copies than getting a single one.
Apart from this issue, there are many bugs and problems related to running PWAs for iOS which we will cover in our next article content.
Capabilities of PWAs on iOS
Well, PWAs offers multiple attributes for iOS 11.3 which will make the users use applications efficiently. Some of them are:
- Apple Pay
- Speech Synthesis
- Magnetometer sensor, Accelerometer sensor, and Gyroscope Sensor
- WebRTC and web assembly, etc.
However, PWAs doesn’t have access to Beacons, Bluetooth, Touch ID, ARKit, Face ID, etc.
Quality Test for App Store
The apps need not get approval from the app store but it is true that they need to follow web platform security model. For example, intranet apps like employee communication apps or business communication apps.
However, these apps can’t access the native features like ARKit, Face ID, etc. These apps can work easily on Safari.
Thus, it is recommended to the iOS app development companies to comply with the policies and develop user-friendly applications that supports PWAs.
Although Apple has successfully incorporated PWAs on iOS 11.3 there are always some drawbacks or loopholes. Some of the drawbacks are listed below:
- Progressive Web Apps don’t have permission to use some features like Bluetooth, Beacons, ARKit, Battery Information, etc.
- They can’t execute the code in the background.
- If the user doesn’t use their apps for a week or so, then iOS will clear the data of the files. The app will be downloaded again when user will access the app again.
- Only 50 Mb of data can be stored offline at a time.
- No authority to access the App Payments for security issues.
- No Siri integration and also no push notifications.
Future of PWAs for Apple
Latest technology incorporation always brings improvement into the system, so does the case with the PWAs in iOS. Apple surely made a great effort in making its iOS devices to run PWAs.
Currently, PWAs are providing user-friendly apps for the users and it is somehow meeting the expectations of the users. But it will be a matter of time, whether Apple will continue its approach to run PWAs and will be able to remove the bugs or not.
However, it is clear that Apple will not be much affected as its most of the revenue is generated from the native apps only.
It can be noted that there are many drawbacks that need to be resolved in order to improve the user experience. With the significant changes, Apple can surely advance PWAs access to all its features which is currently limited to few features.
Moreover, Apple also supports the fundamental set of the latest technologies with the PWAs. It will be interesting to wait for the future development of the Apple’s features with respect to the Progressive Web Apps.