Telegram Web provides an extraordinary experience on desktops, but it also works great on mobile devices. It is prevented, however, from reaching native-app-level quality on iOS, because Apple limits web developers in terms of what they can do on iPhones and iPads.
In April, the developer of Telegram Web shared a 10-point list of issues in the iOS Safari browser that Apple has been unwilling to fix or improve for years (check it here for technical details). Other developers have even complained that Apple's Safari is killing the web.
We suspect that Apple may be intentionally crippling its web apps to force its users to download more native apps where Apple is able to charge its 30% commission (I wrote about why it is harmful here).
Fortunately, regulators have started to realise what is going on. This week, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), a UK regulator, concluded:
"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 (for example, on features such as speed and functionality) and limits Apple’s incentives to invest in its browser engine.
This restriction also seriously inhibits the capability of web apps – apps that run on a browser rather than having to be individually downloaded – depriving consumers and businesses of the full benefits of this innovative technology."
I think it's an accurate summary and hope that regulatory action will follow soon. It's sad that, more than ten years after Steve Job's death, a company that once revolutionized mobile web turned into its most significant roadblock.