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Apple Announces Support For WebRTC in Safari 11 ( 46

Youenn Fablet, software engineer at Apple, writes: Today we are thrilled to announce WebKit support for WebRTC, available on Safari on macOS High Sierra, iOS 11, and Safari Technology Preview 32. [...] Currently, Safari supports legacy WebRTC APIs. Web developers can check whether their websites conform to the latest specifications by toggling the STP Experimental Features menu item "Remove Legacy WebRTC API". Legacy WebRTC APIs will be disabled by default on future releases. Websites that need to accommodate older implementations of the WebRTC and Media Capture specifications can take advantage of polyfill libraries like adapter.js. Peer5, a startup that offers serverless CDN for massively-scaled video streaming, writes in a blogpost: This is HUGE news for the computing industry. Since its introduction in 2011, WebRTC has become an incredibly important part of everyone's favorite platforms and applications. It is at the core of a few services that you might have heard of, including Google Hangouts, Facebook Messenger, Snapchat and Slack. WebRTC is also supported natively by most major web browsers, including Chrome, Firefox and Opera. But there were 2 big holdouts -- Microsoft's Edge browser and Apple's Safari. This meant that people using those browsers couldn't access WebRTC-based services without installing some type of plug-in. Well, those days are over given the WWDC news and Microsoft's announcement back in January regarding WebRTC support in Edge. Developers can now create compelling browser-based applications that incorporate real-time audio and video (and maybe even a peer-to-peer component) and know that 99% of the world's Web surfers will be able to use their services without having to install any plug-ins or additional software. This newfound ubiquity for WebRTC might even make a developer question whether he has to build a native iOS or Android app to deliver his service to end-users.
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Apple Announces Support For WebRTC in Safari 11

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  • >> there were 2 big holdouts -- Microsoft's Edge browser and Apple's Safari.

    Was there any recent announcement from Apple that didn't being with "finally, Apple is introducing (feature that everyone else has had for years)"

    As a daily Mac user, I think it's safe to ask...does anyone really still use a Safari on the desktop? Doesn't everyone just use Chrome (and occasionally pull up Safari for another look before flipping over to the virtual desktop to try IE and Edge)?
    • by wazzzup ( 172351 )

      Safari is good if you're on battery power. FWIW, it's got a really fast javascript engine and it doesn't have all the "send Google everything you're doing on the web" stuff built in.

      That said I only use it when on battery power.

    • by Anubis IV ( 1279820 ) on Wednesday June 07, 2017 @05:21PM (#54571705)

      Apple is rarely the first to introduce something, but they have a better than average track record of being the first ones to do a thing successfully.

      Look back through their major products over the decades: the Mac wasn't the first PC, the iPod wasn't the first MP3 player, the iPhone wasn't the first smartphone, the iPad wasn't the first tablet, the Apple TV wasn't the first set-top box, and the Apple Watch wasn't the first smartwatch. Some of those succeeded, others not so much, but none were the first. It seems odd to ask when the last time was that they were first, given that they've made their name by not being first.

      As for Safari, from what I recall hearing recently (i.e. I have no citation), Safari still commands the majority share of browser usage on the Mac, likely on account of it coming preinstalled. I actually went back to Safari on the Macs we have at home after being on Chrome for years. The experience of using Safari on a Mac has for the last few years, in my opinion, provided the best out-of-box experience out of any browser (which stands in sharp contrast to the experience of using Safari on Windows, which was even worse than using iTunes on Windows). That said, for people who want more out of their browser, Chrome is still the right choice for many of them, especially given the dearth of Safari extensions compared to Chrome extensions. For me, however, I was getting creeped out by Chrome's increased invasiveness, and I didn't care for the way it sucks up power and RAM on the laptop I use at home, so I was willing to trade a little convenience for better efficiency and privacy.

      ...which I suppose I'm not helping any, given that I just wrote a Chrome extension this last week to scratch an itch I had at work (controlling the browser-based podcast player I use [] at work via globally-accessible hotkeys).

      • No, they are very good at pretending to do things successfully and act as if it is 'innovation'.

        • I'd suggest that they do that too, just as anyone else with decent marketing does, but don't let your distaste for that aspect of the company obscure the fact that they actually have achieved a great deal of success, whether we're talking critically, technically, or commercially. A company can be both deeply flawed and wildly successful; the two aren't mutually exclusive.

          Going back to the topic of their innovations, to me, a lot of their actual innovation seems to come from their bringing things in-house or

          • The MP3 players that came before iPod were pretty decent, and Apple didn't change much in this regard. Essentially what they did is market it and make it look cool enough that the hipsters got on board, and then MP3 players saw much bigger appeal to the masses than in the past.

            (Which doesn't say much because not only do hipsters love Apple, but they also love vinyl when it's in every way an inferior audio format.)

      • > Apple is rarely the first to introduce something, but they have a better than average track record of being the first ones to do a thing successfully.

        Here's one you left out. USB. It was an Intel standard. It already existed. But was not adopted in the PC industry due to inertia. PS/2 connectors were standard, so why change? And who needs easily attached and removable external hard drives? But with the introduction of the iMac, overnight USB was a success. Gazillians of market ready USB peri
    • by Bill Hayden ( 649193 ) on Wednesday June 07, 2017 @05:39PM (#54571865) Homepage

      I guess I'm the weirdo. I've never understood why people choose Chrome over Firefox. I use Firefox on all platforms. Chrome is just butt ugly.

    • > I think it's safe to ask...does anyone really still use a Safari on the desktop?

      I do as my default, mainly because of iCloud Keychain and having my passwords synced across my iDevices. If something isn't working I pull up Chrome. I haven't found a good solution to export iCloud Keychain into google's sync.

      The only real complaint I have with Safari is that its authentication mechanism sometimes gets stuck, particularly with Hotmail.

    • Every couple years I rotate from Safari to Firefox to chrome. At any given point in time one of these is definitely better. But if you continue to assume that whatever was best when you last checked remains the case you are in for a surprise. Leadership definitley movess around. And it's pretty much always the case that Edge and Safari are better on batteries. Safari is also better on network bandwidth too.

      At the moment I'm phasing out chrome as I'm finding the others work better at this point in time.

    • I love Safari and its developer tools are way easier to use and more polished than either Chrome or Firefox and pages with heavy JavaScript render visibly faster . The only problem is some libraries like jQuery aren't the most compatible resulting in some weird behavior. Safari will also halt bad JS earlier while Chrome sometimes tries to trudge through things with disastrous results.

      I've never had problems with WebRTC support in Safari although that's probably because I only use open source software, no cr

    • As a daily Mac user, I think it's safe to ask...does anyone really still use a Safari on the desktop? Doesn't everyone just use Chrome?

      And why exactly would I use Chrome instead of Safari?

      So it's easier for Google to track me? Besides, I hate tabs on top.

  • I'm still waiting for the compelling part of the application to be realized.

  • by DougReed ( 102865 ) on Wednesday June 07, 2017 @05:52PM (#54571977)

    Dear Apple,

    How long before you fix Safari so that it no longer gets abysmal numbers in Apple doesn't support many of the HTML5 features that the other browsers do, so to be cross browser compliant (and to work on an iPhone) they cannot be used. Using Safari Technology Preview you guys get 416 out of 555! You are 100 points behind Chrome and 60 behind Edge and Firefox. You do far better on the ECMAScript compatibility table and the Acid3 test, but you don't get 100% there either... but then only Opera passes that.

    Please fix this!

    • HTML5 has been a moving standard for a while now and many features (e.g. Input type fields) are now deprecated and some features (direct screenshot and webcam access) I'm not even sure whether you want that in your browser.

      • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

        direct screenshot and webcam access this is .. well, kinda fine if asked from user on case by case basis.

        webworkers and web push however.. that's just stupid. it's like the stupidest feature ever to be put into the browser. just make the fucking webgl or some other webgl like thing work well first, come on.

        for those who don't understand what I'm talking about, I'm talking about features that let the web page run javascript on your machine even when you're not connected to said web page - and push notifica

        • by tepples ( 727027 )

          I'm talking about features that let the web page run javascript on your machine even when you're not connected to said web page

          Without Service Workers, how do you expect to continue using a web application between when your device disconnects from the Internet and when it reconnects to the Internet? For example, if your city bus service doesn't provide Wi-Fi to its riders, do you expect to instead sit on the bus and stare at the downasaur for an hour on the commute to work or back?

    • KHTML was forked by Webkit which was forked by Blink.

      If Apple don't have the energy to maintain Webkit, then perhaps they should switch to Blink. Various products including Qt5 and Opera now have a Chromium backend.

      disclaimer I'm a Firefox user so I support diversity of browsers but if we're pushing HTML5 as a platform then it makes no sense for iOS to lag.

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