Apple’s web browser Safari risks becoming an outdated program that developers and customers don’t use, Ars Technica argues.
Ars Technica makes a convincing case: Apple isn’t updating its web browser enough, so it’s not supporting tools like certain APIs that web developers use to make sites.
It might not seem like a big problem if Apple doesn’t support every new API and developer tool in use, but it could mean that developers decide not to test their sites for Safari, which could mean it eventually becomes an outdated and unsupported browser like Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.
It’s not just Ars Technica’s Nolan Lawson who feels concerned about Safari. Apple writer Ben Thompson said in his daily email on Monday that “Safari is slower to adopt standards if it adopts them at all, Apple doesn’t really attend conferences (although folks working on Safari are active on web standards mailing lists), and iOS does not allow other rendering engines on iOS.”
Apple hasn’t shown many signs of publicly supporting developers working on its Safari platform. It doesn’t attend developer conferences, and the development community is left in the dark about major updates until Apple reveals the news during its keynotes. That’s not an ideal situation for developers who rely on relationships with tech companies to make sure their sites keep working.
So what’s the solution to Apple’s web browser problem? Well, Apple would probably argue that developers should simply release native apps instead of trying to cram their site into a web browser. But that’s not an ideal situation for anyone. Another solution Ars Technica considers is that Apple starts contributing to open source web standards, helping the whole internet, as well as Safari. That doesn’t sound like Apple’s way of thinking, but it could help developers get back onto Safari.