Tuesday, December 24, 2019

New WebKit Features in Safari 13

Jon Davis:

WebKit provides the heart of this new experience with deep, fundamental changes that deliver a great desktop website experience on a touch device. With the exception of iPad mini, Safari on iPad will now send a user-agent string that is identical to Safari on macOS. Beyond just a user-agent change, WebKit added new support for web standards to provide the needed compatibility and quality. That included adding new support for Pointer Events, the Visual Viewport API, and programmatic paste.


Find on page now works like Safari on desktop, highlighting all of the matching terms on the page with a special highlight for the current selection.


Support for websites saved to the home screen have been polished to work more like native apps. The changes focused on better multitasking support, improved login flow to work in-line without switching to Safari, support for Apple Pay, and improved reliability for remote Web Inspector.


With the introduction of native WebDriver support in Safari on iOS 13, it’s now possible to run the same automated tests of desktop-oriented web content on desktop and mobile devices equally.

Notably absent from Safari for iOS: extensions.

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That's great and all, but I wish they would stop for a moment and fix the huge bug that allows sites to send web Notifications even when you have the Safari prefs set to disallow it. I'm not sure how these really basic bugs are making it into released software these days. How hard would it be for Apple's testing process to include, I dunno, visiting 20 websites that try to request Notifications and discover that the blocking preference doesn't catch 100% of the attempts?

Sören Nils Kuklau

My guess is the preference only disables the location API. It doesn't prevent a page from putting up UI that looks like a location request.

Apple could look at popular libraries that put up such UI and block them. Or use machine learning to guess whether an alert constitutes such UI. But there's no surefire way.

I’m not talking about Location, it’s Web Notifications that are the issue.

Sören Nils Kuklau

Sorry, not sure why I wrote location.

> Notably absent from Safari for iOS: extensions.

The same can almost be said about Safari for macOS.

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