Tuesday, October 13th, 2009
PPK has cried “There is no WebKit on mobile!” as he posts new compatibility tables that test WebKit across desktop and mobile:
I compare 19 WebKits in order to prove that there is no “WebKit on Mobile” and to figure out which one is the best. My hope is that eventually I’m going to gain some insight in the “family tree” of all WebKits.
I will probably add some HTML5 items to this list later on, provided they’re supported by at least one WebKit (probably Safari or Chrome).
These tests focus solely on compatibility. I say nothing about performance or user interface, and especially on mobile these factors may, in the short run, be more important than compatibility.
Alex Russell responded to the concern that we are in a world of hurt with multiple browsers on mobile just like we are on the desktop. Alex thinks that the core notion of timeliness matters here:
I’m not convinced that the situation is nearly that bad.
The data doesn’t reflect how fast the mobile market changes. The traditional difference between mobile and desktop, after all, has been that mobile is moving at all. If you figure a conservative 24 month average replacement cycle for smartphones, then the entire market for browsers turns over every two years. And that’s the historical view. An increasing percentage of smartphone owners now receive regular software updates that provide new browsers even faster. What matters then is how old the WebKit version in a particular firmware is and how prevalant that firmware is in the real world. As usual, distribution and market share are what matters in determining real-world compatibility, and if that’s a constantly changing secnario, the data should at least reflect how things are changing.
He uses his own charts to make the comparison :)
What have you found?
Posted by Dion Almaer at 6:51 am