Not All Web APIs Are Good APIs

Eric Lee on Threads:

I was wondering why I haven’t seen websites utilizing Vibration API when I see more and more apps using it including Arc Search and AirChat. Safari doesn’t even support it so there it goes 🫠

This exemplifies the broken thinking among many web developers and PWA advocates regarding Safari and WebKit. Just because an API exists and some browsers support it does not mean all browsers should support it. I never ever want a website to be able to vibrate my device. Ever. Nor do I want websites to be able to prompt me with an alert asking for permission to vibrate my device. Not supporting the Vibration API is a feature, not an omission.

If you want web apps to have the same full range of capabilities as native apps, iOS is not the platform for you. PWA advocates treat it as axiomatic that web apps should be peers to native apps, but that’s not true for everyone. I think of native apps as software I carefully consider before installing, even from the App Store. I think of websites and web apps as software I will visit/run without consideration, because they’re so comparatively restricted.

Tuesday, 16 April 2024