Apple calls for features to be removed from Safari rival - Mobile World Live

Apple calls for features to be removed from Safari rival

08 APR 2011

Apple has ordered a developer of a third-party iOS web browser to disable a number of key features, reports The Register. The iCab browser for the iPhone and iPad is available for download via Apple’s App Store, and can be used as an alternative to Apple’s Safari browser which comes preloaded on iOS devices. Apple has reportedly objected to iCab’s use of JavaScript-based ‘modules,’ which are used to ease integration with services such as Twitter. iCab offers 25 such modules.

The browser’s developer, Alexander Clauss, says he will comply with Apple’s request to disable JavaScript but has questioned Apple’s logic in enforcing the changes. “I really can’t say that I like Apple’s decision, and technically it doesn’t make much sense,” Clauss wrote on the iCab blog. “‘Modules’ for iCab Mobile are simply a more comfortable variation of bookmarklets, and these are still allowed by Apple – and I assume Apple cannot forbid that the user will save and use bookmarklets.”

“The great user experience of installing modules has probably created a suspicion that these modules are more than just a piece of JavaScript code,” he continued. “From a pure technical point of view, if Apple does not allow to download modules (JavaScript code), Apple would also have to disallow to load web pages in general, because these do also contain JavaScript code.”

According to The Register, Apple’s move is consistent with its approach to other “third-party code interpreters,” such as Java or Flash, which are also forbidden on the App Store. However, while JavaScript is also technically “a code interpreter,” many apps are able to use it providing they use Apple’s own JavaScript engine.


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