iOS/iPadOS internet browsers - why do they operate differently if they're all built on Safari WebKit

twr7cx

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Sep 22, 2020
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For 99% of my internet browsing I've found Safari on iOS, iPadOS and macOS to be fine. However I've always kept Google Chrome and Firefox also installed as every now and then I find a website that just doesn't function on Safari properly (usually it's only the iOS and iPadOS versions of Safari that don't function properly).

With iOS/iPadOS 14 release and the ability to change default browsers I've been considering then should I just switch over to one that works fine 100% of the time for all the time.

Today I had a bit of a play. Using my test website of a news article from [redacted] at moderator note: link removed that I had noticed Safari having difficulties with, I found the following results on my iPad Pro 12.9 (2nd Gen) running iPadOS 14:

Apple Safari - struggled to load the website (I've just hit the refresh button and 8 minutes later it's still trying to load), when it does manage to it has the text but missing most of the picture details.
Google Chrome - better than the above in that it loads much faster but still missing the bulk of the pictures.
Microsoft Edge and Mozila Firefox - both loaded fast and perfectly.
So based on this and that I like to read the news for free from there the later two are frontrunners.

But what I don't understand is why are they performing better? My understanding is that all the browsers when on the iOS/iPadOS environment have to use the Apple WebKit, the same as Safari is based on, rather than their own rendering engines - so surely then if one works properly all should? And surely Safari should be the most likely to work?
Furthermore, why are Chrome and Edge performing differently? I thought that Edge was based on Chromium?
 
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scruffypig

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Feb 16, 2014
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For 99% of my internet browsing I've found Safari on iOS, iPadOS and macOS to be fine. However I've always kept Google Chrome and Firefox also installed as every now and then I find a website that just doesn't function on Safari properly (usually it's only the iOS and iPadOS versions of Safari that don't function properly).

With iOS/iPadOS 14 release and the ability to change default browsers I've been considering then should I just switch over to one that works fine 100% of the time for all the time.

Today I had a bit of a play. Using my test website of a news article from [redacted] at moderator note: link removed that I had noticed Safari having difficulties with, I found the following results on my iPad Pro 12.9 (2nd Gen) running iPadOS 14:

Apple Safari - struggled to load the website (I've just hit the refresh button and 8 minutes later it's still trying to load), when it does manage to it has the text but missing most of the picture details.
Google Chrome - better than the above in that it loads much faster but still missing the bulk of the pictures.
Microsoft Edge and Mozila Firefox - both loaded fast and perfectly.
So based on this and that I like to read the news for free from there the later two are frontrunners.

But what I don't understand is why are they performing better? My understanding is that all the browsers when on the iOS/iPadOS environment have to use the Apple WebKit, the same as Safari is based on, rather than their own rendering engines - so surely then if one works properly all should? And surely Safari should be the most likely to work?
Furthermore, why are Chrome and Edge performing differently? I thought that Edge was based on Chromium?

Google forked WebKit to its’ own Blink engine for the desktop.
 

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