As Pasco acknowledges, we don’t know Apple’s real motivation for
omitting web views from Apple TV. There may be technical
challenges or performance shortcomings that contributed to the
decision. But let’s assume for the sake of reasoning that it is
purely political, that they want to discourage “web wrappers” and
to promote a more native look and feel in TV apps. I propose that
Apple could strike a compromise that would serve those ambitions
while also supporting the tasteful handling of web content in
apps. How? By forbidding network access to web content. Apps
themselves could still access the network, but not from within
their web views.
I don’t think that’s going to happen. Either WebKit isn’t there in tvOS 1.0 because (a) Apple doesn’t think it belongs on this platform, or (b) it just isn’t ready yet.
I think the answer is (a), and we’ll never see web content rendered on this platform. If the answer is (b), I think we’ll see a “full” WebKit eventually. I don’t think we’ll ever see Safari for Apple TV, but I could imagine WebKit for the “views and controls that are really just HTML/CSS” type stuff.
★ Tuesday, 15 September 2015