Safari 17 Beta: A Game Changer for PWAs on MacOS




Published on

June 6, 2023

Safari 17 Beta is the latest version of Apple's web browser, which was released on June 5, 2023. It includes many new features and improvements for web developers, especially for those who create Progressive Web Apps (PWAs).

If you are not familiar with PWA, PWAs are web applications that offer a native app-like experience to users. They can be installed on various devices, including MacOS, and can work offline, send push notifications, and access device features.

In this blog post, I will highlight some of the new WebKit features that Safari 17 Beta supports for PWAs.

New WebKit Features for PWAs

  • Web Share API Level 2: This API allows PWAs to share files with other apps on the device, such as photos, videos, or documents. It also supports sharing multiple files at once.
  • Web App Manifest: This is a JSON file that describes a PWA, such as its name, icons, start URL, display mode, and more. Safari 17 Beta supports more manifest properties than before, such as categories, description, and screenshots.
  • Web App Banner: This is a prompt that appears on Safari when a user visits a PWA that can be installed on the device. Safari 17 Beta improves the appearance and behavior of the banner, making it more consistent with native app banners.
  • Service Workers: These are scripts that run in the background and enable PWAs to work offline, sync data, send push notifications, and more. Safari 17 Beta improves the performance and reliability of service workers, and adds support for some new APIs, such as CacheStorage and Background Sync.
  • Web Push API: This API allows PWAs to send push notifications to users even when they are not using the app. Safari 17 Beta adds support for silent push notifications, which can be used to update the app's content or state without alerting the user.

Advantages of PWAs for Developers

PWAs offer many advantages for developers, and on MacOS right now, as well. Some of them are:

  • They are easier and cheaper to develop and maintain than native apps, as they use web technologies and standards.
  • They can reach a wider audience, as they are compatible with different browsers and devices.
  • They can leverage the features and performance of Safari, which is the default browser on MacOS and supports many PWA capabilities.
  • They can provide a seamless user experience, as they can adapt to different screen sizes and orientations, work offline, and update automatically.

PWAs are a great way to create engaging and reliable web applications that can run on MacOS and other platforms. If you want to learn more about PWAs, you can check out this guide from Google.

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