Mobile Safari Hacks

While developing Waka, I’ve discovered that Mobile Safari is the new IE6. Most of this arises because Apple has layered on a number of fancy features that work great for most sites, but create problems when you trying making a web app. Here’s a couple of issues and fixes for these things:

Desktop Safari is completely different to Mobile Safari

Problem: Desktop Safari looks great, but the app doesn’t work on iOS.
Solution: Unfortunately, you always have to be testing on real devices. This goes for Android too, because these devices are a lot slower than your dev machine.

Chrome CPU Throttling

It’s also a good idea to enable CPU Throttling in Chrome in order to get an idea of how your app will perform.

Viewport Height is too high

Problem: 100vh includes the height of the browser controls, which are overlaid so there’s the fancy blur effect.

iOS Viewport Height Issue

Fix: If you can’t use height 100%, I would recommend using a CSS variable, and line of code like this:

1'--real-height', document.documentElement.clientHeight + 'px')

Make sure to bind this to your window.onresize event!

No Kinetic Scrolling in Child Elements

Problem: Having overflow:scroll in a container doesn’t have any inertia.
Solution: On your element, set -webkit-overflow-scrolling: touch;

-webkit-overflow-scrolling bubbles to page

Problem: When you’re at the top of the element, the entire page scrolls, not the element.
Solution: You’ll need two elements, something like this:

<div class="scrollable">
<div class="container">

On the inner element, you’ll need to set min-height: 101%. Then, onTouchStart, you’ll need some JavaScript that moves the scroll position down a single pixel at the top of the page, or up a pixel at the bottom.

let top = e.scrollTop
let totalScroll = e.scrollHeight
let currentScroll = top + e.offsetHeight

if (top === 0) {
e.scrollTop = 1
} else if (currentScroll === totalScroll) {
e.scrollTop = top - 1

Flexbox is funky in row direction

Problem: Flexbox generally doesn’t work in the row direction on iOS.
Solution: If setting the container height with the CSS variable you made doesn’t work, use calc() with that variable. It’s really not ideal, but this is what I’ve found works best.

Force Touch

Problem: If you force touch on an link that you styled like a button because you have fancy single page routing, it’ll pop up a preview.
Solution: If iOS, don’t use the anchor tag (or at least a href). Bind an event to the button, and push the new URL to the History.

No caching when pinned to home screen

Problem: There’s no HTTP caching when the app is pinned to home screen. Makes for long initial load times.
Solution: You’re gonna have to use AppCache for this one.

That’s all I can think of for now. If you have a Mobile Safari hack, message me, and I’ll add it to this post!