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Why is Safari a lagging browser? 11 reasons from Telegram Web developers

Why is Safari a lagging browser?  11 reasons from Telegram Web developers

Modern sites in terms of functionality can compete with native applications. But only in theory. In practice, web services are limited by the capabilities of browsers. A prime example is Apple products.

In iOS, Apple does not give users the freedom to choose a browser. Only Safari is available on corporate mobile devices. Wait, what about third-party web browsers from the App Store? Chrome, Firefox, Opera? Inside, they are still the same Safari and are built on the WebKit engine. That is, there is no real competition between browsers on iOS and iPadOS.

The biggest problem here is that Safari is the worst for modern web surfing. At least that’s what the developers of the web version of Telegram, WebK, think. And they have good reason to believe so.

Mobile Safari

1) Push notifications

Why is Safari a lagging browser?  11 reasons from Telegram Web developers

This is an important element of any messenger. It’s pretty obvious why – they allow you to quickly receive new messages. However, mobile Safari simply doesn’t support push notifications. Therefore, it is impossible to comfortably use the web versions of instant messengers on iOS.

2) Text fields

Safari automatically scrolls the page as soon as you click on the input field. This is done so that the active element is in the center of the display. But because of this, the interface of the web application may break. And developers can’t configure this setting, as there’s no such option.

3) Problems with the context menu

In order for the context menu to appear in the web service, developers use a small delay after the tap. But Safari doesn’t have a generic method for calling such a menu. In addition, developers’ solutions may stop working with OS updates.

4) Random reboots

Why is Safari a lagging browser?  11 reasons from Telegram Web developers

Safari often reloads the page when the user zooms in on a video or swipes through a lot of heavy content. Because of this, all user actions are interrupted and the position is reset, for example, in a chat.

General Browser Issues

1) Unsupported video stickers (WebM format)

Why is Safari a lagging browser?  11 reasons from Telegram Web developers

The Safari browser does not support the popular VP8 and VP9 video codecs. Because of this, users do not have access to video stickers that just need those codecs. Telegram developers could fix this by embedding third party tools. But there is a problem with them – they weigh several times more than the entire messenger web application.

2) No Opus format support

Opus is an audio file format used by Telegram for voice messages. It weighs very little, while producing high-quality and intelligible sound. But due to the fact that Safari does not support Opus, the web version of Telegram (WebK) uses a special module to convert Opus files to WAV format. This is the only way to play voice messages in the iOS browser.

3) Нет Shared Workers

What is Workers? A separate Worker is a script that runs in the background. WebK uses a dedicated worker to combine networking and encryption related tasks. Shared Worker works not only for one tab – several of them can use the script at once. Safari does not support this solution.

4) Lack of some methods

Among the heaps of methods that developers use in their services, requestIdleCallback is worth noting. This method allows you to queue resource-intensive operations. That is, they can be processed later, when the user does nothing and there are free resources in the system. Chrome and Firefox have this method. Safari is not.

5) Visual artifacts

Sometimes Safari fails to properly handle multi-layer web applications with complex animations, so various glitches can appear in the browser. WebK developers had to greatly simplify the effects of reactions to messages.

6) Blur effects

Although blurring is found in many elements of the iOS interface, this effect is processed much more slowly in Safari than in other browsers. Accordingly, the sites work worse.

7) Smooth scrolling

In Safari, it is sometimes not possible to achieve smooth scroll animation. This is because the browser artificially limits the frame rate to 30 in some situations. This is especially noticeable on devices with 120Hz monitors. Sometimes when you click on pinned messages, original messages from replies, or scroll straight to the bottom of the chat, you can see the lack of fluidity.


Many of these features are easy to integrate into the browser. Moreover, they are in all other popular browsers – Chrome on Android is an example of this. Apple can do the same with their product. Instead, they chose to deliberately strip web services to force users to use native apps. What for? It is possible to then take a commission of 30% from each purchase inside.


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