One Hot Potato: Apple has seen almost no end of antitrust allegations over the years. Its defense against Epic Games was mostly successful, but regulators in the US and abroad continue to investigate the company. The latest allegation is that the Cupertino giant is deliberately sabotaging web applications to force users to download native versions of the app in order to levy its 30-cent Apple tax.
According to Telegram founder Pavel Durov, Apple is “deliberately crippling” web apps on the iPhone, allowing more people to download the original version of the app, in order to collect its 30-cent commission. While Telegram does have an app listed in the App Store, Apple guidelines do not allow it to have an unrestricted public channel.
As a workaround, Telegram developed a web-based app that bypasses these rules. However, it reportedly doesn’t run smoothly due to known issues in WebKit that Apple has ignored for 15 years to fix. Durov pointed to these problems in an open Telegram post in April.
Durov claims that modern web apps can allow a “feature-rich” experience such as push notifications, video stickers, Opus audio formats, and other functionality. Overall, there were 10 points that Durov asked Apple to address that would make Safari run web apps as smoothly as Firefox and Chrome. Apple has not responded.
So why not just use the mobile versions of Chrome or Firefox? It would be a great idea, but according to Durov, WebKit is native to all browsers on iOS because Apple requires that developers use it. Essentially, Safari, Chrome, Firefox, and any other browser on iOS is just a skin for WebKit. So until it is upgraded to modern standards, there is nothing a developer can do to improve the performance of their web app.
Apple seems reluctant to do anything, but Durov remains hopeful, mainly because of regulators. He points out that last week the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) issued a statement concluding that Apple and Google have influential rights over the way consumers use their mobile devices.
“Apple imposes restrictions on its own browser engine options on its mobile devices; a restriction that is unique to Apple,” the consumer watchdog said. “CMA is concerned that this severely limits the ability for rival browsers to differentiate themselves from Safari (for example, on features such as speed and functionality) and encourages Apple to invest in its browser engine. limits.”
However, the CMA’s statement did not mention any regulatory action being taken or proposed. Despite this, Durov remains optimistic that the problem will eventually be resolved.
“I feel [the CMA paints] An accurate summary and hopefully regulatory action soon,” he said. “It is sad that more than ten years after the death of Steve Jobs, a company that once revolutionized the mobile web is at its most important.” changed on the way.”
Image credit: Evan Redick