Challenges with PWA iOS 13 — From The Developer’s Perspective
The best version of PWA iOS still lags a bit when it comes to comparing the features and facilities with that of Chrome or Edge.
Okay, that’s from the user’s point of view.
However, we have noticed a few challenges from the developer’s standpoint.
Although they aren’t the deal-breakers — they’d still need your attention and developing expertise if you have promised a super-friendly web app to your clients.
So, here’re the challenges that you may face while developing web apps on iOS.
Challenges with web app development on iOS
Problem 1: Challenges with social login
We all know the importance of social login on all the apps. Users wouldn’t log in if you haven’t permitted social logins on your web apps.
Since it’s a must-have feature for all the web apps, we are assuming that you will add a social login module to your app as well.
But PWA iOS has specific issues with social logins like Google and Facebook login while developing.
Let’s say you have integrated social logins like Google login with your PWA.
Your PWA may face integration issues where your users may find it hard to login with the help of social plugins.
The Google or Facebook plugin forces login pages to open in a separate browser tab and renders users to the redirected URL.
They don’t allow users to get back to PWA. Instead, they keep them on a different login tab.
Problem 2: Challenges with QR scanning (Camera)
Well, instead of calling “challenges with QR scanning,” — we’d say “challenges with camera functionality.”
iOS PWA allows camera features, but somehow — the feature seems to behave abnormally when you close the camera for 2–3 seconds (not forced close — but toggling from the app switcher or going out for 2–3 seconds and getting back in).
iOS camera returns black screen after leaving and returning to PWA. 
The black display on the screen will remain until you force close the app and erase its current state.
You will have to restart the web app to access the camera and make sure that you don’t get out of it again.
Since iOS 13 doesn’t support camera stream — it’s obvious that you’ll have to compromise with vital features like QR scanning.
Problem 3: Challenges with location (GPS)
Location (GPS) is not a significant concern in PWA iOS 13.
It will work absolutely fine if you are trying to track the user’s location by seeking their permission.
The web app gives a smooth and seamless experience if the users click on the “allow the access to location service” button.
However, the problem arises when they have clicked the cancel button.
Once they have denied the permission for tracking their status — there’s no way PWA could ask them again.
In case you want to relaunch the location service prompt box to the user — there doesn’t seem to be any option that would let you do so.
Problem 4: Challenges with push notifications
It has to be one of the biggest challenges with PWA iOS because push notification is the primary feature of any native app.
And if PWA doesn’t support it cleanly — the purpose of having it in the place of the app will itself be defeated.
Since IOS doesn’t support background processing — push notification is still a distant dream for iOS PWA developers.
Few other problems…
- iOS is a super miser when it comes to memory allocation to web apps. It only has 50 MBs to offer. That would need some exceptional app caching logic from your side.
- It doesn’t allow background sync — again — it’s a significant setback for any web app if it wants to replicate the native app feel.
- iOS cleans up the unused files of the PWA apps from the disk, and that too without your permission. If you haven’t accessed the app for 15 days (almost) — iOS will clean the memory automatically.
So before you make promises to your customers — ensure that you are well aware of the problems with PWA iOS 13.
This blog was taken from the main post iOS Getting Into The PWA Space Faster Than Ever. So you can read that blog to get more detailed insights.
Thanks for reading and hope to see in our next post🙏.