Telegram founder Pavel Durov isn’t happy with the way Apple treats web apps on iOS. He publicly criticized the company for limiting the web app versions of Telegram and other apps. although Telegram has an iOS app, it has several restrictions which make it impossible to serve all the features via the app.
Telegram web app offers all the mobile app features without compromising user experience. But Apple ruins even that due to its scarcity of features on the Safari browser.
Why is Telegram CEO Pavel Durov angry?
According to 9to5mac, Telegram faced problems with Apple’s review process due to its public channels. Apple didn’t like the idea that the public channels had little to no content restrictions. So, Telegram enhanced its web app to serve the same feature set present in its app. It was a nifty maneuver to avoid Apple’s review process while posing little to no problem at the user’s end.
Apple doesn’t allow the developers to use a different web engine for iOS. Instead, it forces them to use Apple Webkit which comes with its set of regulations and restrictions. Telegram CEO wants the web apps to offer the same experience as native apps but Apple Webkit is a major hurdle in the path.
Pavel Durov highlighted the CMA’s statements in his post. “Apple bans alternatives to its own browser engine on its mobile devices; a restriction that is unique to Apple. The CMA is concerned this severely limits the potential for rival browsers to differentiate themselves from Safari. This restriction also seriously inhibits the capability of web apps and is depriving consumers and businesses of the full benefits of this innovative technology.”
In April, Telegram developers published a 10-point list on how the default iOS browser was inadequate in handling modern web apps. Basic features like push notifications, VP8 and VP9 codecs, high refresh rates, blur effects, etc were unsupported by the browser. They even accused Apple of limiting web app features in order to force brands to launch their apps on App Store and earn 30% commissions.