This week is shaping up to be an important one in the US and UK with regards to the health, stability, and openness of the Internet.
The bottom line is:
- Since the first iPhone, Apple has essentially blocked all other browsers from its app store and devices.
- You might think you can install another browser, but it is really just a façade over Apple’s Safari browser.
- This forces all iOS browsers to remain as limited in functionality, and bug-ridden, as Safari itself is, at any given time.
- This means we users cannot make use of great new, secure, fast features that other browsers could offer.
- This also means businesses cannot rely on otherwise common browser functionality or reliability.
- All of this smacks of the easiest way to keep Safari relevant and competitive: hobble everyone else so it still appears to be good…
- In addition, Apple still refuses to allow PWAs into their app store, forcing businesses to shell-out thousands and thousands of dollars to build and maintain native apps, for no reason other than to push their website into an app, so the general public can easily find and install them.
And now is your chance to tell your US and UK representatives that you demand an alternative, to tell them you want open, competitive choice!
I have contacted both of my US Senators and encourage you to contact your representatives.
A copy of the message I sent is below, feel free to plagiarize at will!
Happy Internet saving,
Dear Senator ________,
I am writing regarding Apple Corporation’s continued monopolistic blocking of viable browser options on its iOS devices (iPhones, iPads, etc.).
It was not so long ago that the entire world forced Microsoft to offer other browsers on their Windows operating system, and the same needs to be done with Apple.
Since the first iPhone offered Internet access, Apple has limited all other browser manufactures to merely a facade over their own inept Safari browser. This would not be so painful if their Safari browser were kept competitive with regards to technological features and capabilities, but it has not. This behavior has greatly hampered mobile browser market competition, as their competition appears to be as inept as they are; this is not the case. Both Chrome and Firefox offer far superior browsers, but both are restricted from flexing that technological muscle on iOS devices.
This limitation not only hurts the user, limiting what they can do with their devices, but has also greatly harmed businesses by preventing them from implementing features that in other browsers would work quite well, such as installable progressive web apps, push notifications, offline functionality, native device feature interaction, and more.
Beyond their browser restriction, Apple continues to prevent non-native apps from being offered in their app store. Businesses are currently able to create fully-functional websites that can be installed onto a user’s device’s home screen, allowing single-touch access to that business’ website. But Apple continues to prevent such website apps from being included in their app store, making them seemingly impossible to the general public to find and install.
These continued browser and app store restrictions have forced many businesses to have to create native apps in order to make use of rich interactivity features and to be “findable” in the app stores, costing them thousands and thousands of dollars and hours upon hours of wasted time in order to create and maintain native apps that they otherwise would not need.
I encourage you to please focus your energy toward forcing Apple into a truly free and competitive market, allowing users a true choice in what browser they use on their devices, and businesses the chance to flex their technological muscle and stretch their creative marketing and offer new features and functionality to their visitors via their websites, and without having to build apps and pay Apple’s annual developer fee, just to have their app available in their app store.
I thank you very much for your time and consideration, and welcome any questions or requests from you or your office regarding this topic.
Aaron T. Grogg
Professional Web Developer,