iOS Browser Engine Choice

I'm following the (Twitter) conversation on browser engines other than WebKit to be allowed on iOS very closely. When the United Kingdom's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) solicited responses from Web developers to their mobile ecosystems market study interim report, I sent one where I spoke as the developer of SVGcode and told the CMA about my experience with making the app performantly available on iOS Safari:

To whom it may concern,

I'm an employee of Google Germany, but also a hobbyist Web developer. Recently, I have built an application, SVGcode (, which I wanted to be performing well on all browsers, so I have put a lot of time and effort into making it as compatible and progressively enhanced as I could. Unfortunately, Safari is the one browser that constantly requires the most hoops to get to the same baseline experience as on other browsers like Firefox, Edge, or Chrome.

For example, it does not offer proper installation support, so rather than use my built-in Install button, I need to hope my users are aware of the hidden away "Add to Home Screen" feature in Safari.

Another missing feature is OffscreenCanvas, which would greatly improve the app's performance, but as is, the performance on Safari leaves to be desired. On macOS, I can just tell users that I have made the maximum effort to be compatible with all browsers, but if people wish to get the maximum performance, they are free to switch their browser to a one with the maximum amount of features supported.

On iOS and iPadOS, however, there is nothing I could tell my users, since even alternative browsers have to use WebKit's rendering engine under the hood. I do hope your legislation can help improve upon the situation and lift Apple's browser ban.

Respectfully yours,
Thomas Steiner

P.S. While I am employed by Google, I am speaking in a personal capacity for my work as a hobbyist developer outside of Google.

More impactful and lawyer-approved than mine are the responses from Mozilla and Google, though, which I invite you to read in their entirety. Below just two significant quotes:

Without regulatory intervention we believe there will be no change to the status quo, harming competition in browser engines and browsers, and harming innovation online.—Mozilla

Competition between browser engines—and freedom of choice for developers—means browser apps on Android can differentiate themselves by incorporating a range of features and functionalities that are not available on iOS, where all browsers are required to use Apple's WebKit browser engine.—Google

(It goes without saying but restating again: While I am employed by Google, I am speaking in a personal capacity for my work as a hobbyist developer outside of Google.)