Maximiliano Firtman's articles, notes and learning experiences for

iOS PWA Compatibility

What's supported on Safari on iOS and iPadOS for Progressive Web Apps

This is a Note: a sometimes short, sometimes incomplete, living document.

Sponsored by you: PayPal donation, or buying me a coffee.

This is a compatibility list of supported features on Safari on iOS and iPadOS vs. what's available in the most used PWA browser in current market share for similar mobile devices: Google Chrome on Android.

This list is based and maintained on private tests I frequently do. WebKit is getting better documenting these things, but there is still a huge gap.

High-level PWA support #

Ability Supported Since version
Offline Support with Service Workers 11.3
App Installation from Browser 11.3 (from 2.0 with meta tags)
App Installation from Store 14.0 with WebView and App-Bound domains (no official announcement)
App Installation for Enterprise 10.0 (MobileConfig file)
Installation Prompt or Banner
Singleton Installation
App Installation Recovery with Backup 11.3
Link Capturing Only a push message can open an installed PWA
In-App Browser for out-of-scope links 12.0
Storage shared with Browser
App appears in Search 11.3 (from 4.0 with meta tags)
App appears in Multitasking list 11.3 (from 2.0 with meta tags)
App appears in Homescreen 11.3 (from 2.0 with meta tags)
App appears in App Gallery Folders
App can share screen with other apps 14.0 (iPadOS-only)
App can be installed from non-Safari browsers 16.4, if opted-in by the browser

Web App Manifest Support #

W3C Spec Fields #

Field Supported Since version
name 11.3
short_name 11.3
scope 11.3
icons 15.4
display 11.3
start_url 11.3
id 16.4 (it's concatenated with icon's name)
theme_color 15.0

Before iOS 15.4, icons for PWAs can only be set by the non-standard <link> element with rel=apple-touch-icon. If you still have that element, it overrides your manifest icons declaration.

Display options #

Value Supported Fallbacks To
minimal-ui¹ browser
fullscreen¹ standalone

Icon Options #

Option Supported
PNG Image
SVG Image
Maskable Icon¹
Monochrome Icon¹

¹ WebKit recognizes these options, but it ignores them. The apple-touch-icon link element in the HTML overrides the manifest icon declaration.

The list of fields comes from the latest W3C Working Draft. What's supported on WebKit can be seen by testing or by checking the WebKit Source code (ApplicationManifest.h).

Option Supported since Should you use it? Replaced by
apple-mobile-web-app-capable meta 2.0 🫱 since 11.3 it's optional² display: standalone in manifest
apple-mobile-web-app-title meta 8.0 👎 since 11.3 name in manifest
apple-mobile-web-app-status-bar-style meta 2.0 👎 since 15.0 theme-color meta tag
black-translucent status bar meta 2.0 👍 Still the only way to get a fullscreen app
apple-touch-icon link 2.0 🫱 (optional since 15.4 but still useful) icons in manifest
apple-touch-startup-image link 8.0 👍 Still the only way to define splash screens²
navigator.standalone flag 2.0 👎 since 11.3 display-mode media query

² Startup images only work if the apple-mobile-web-app-capable meta tag is present despite the presence of the manifest standalone replacement.

Manifest Incubations #

Field Supported Since version
appinstalled event
beforeinstallprompt event (installation prompt)

The list of fields comes from the latest Web Application Manifest Incubators supported in Google Chrome for Android (stable or experimental).

These abilities may only be suitable for iPadOS devices.

Ability Supported Since version
Window Controls Overlay
Tabbed Display

Service Workers Support #

Ability Supported Since version
Fetch API 10.1
Service Worker Support 11.3
Cache Storage interface 11.3
UpdateViaCache at Registration 15.0
Streams ✅ (partial) 11.3
Navigation Preload 15.4

Abilities on Top of Service Workers #

Ability Supported Since version
Web Push 16.4 only for installed PWAs
Background Sync
Periodic Background Sync
Background Fetch

³ Web Push only works if the web app is installed in the home screen; not available in Safari or other browsers

High-level overview of Web abilities for PWAs #

Ability Supported Since version
Geolocation 2.0
Web Storage 2.0
IndexedDB 8.0
Web Workers 5.0
Shared Web Workers 5.0 to 6.1, back in 16.0
2D Canvas 2.0
3D Canvas: WebGL 8.0
3D Canvas: WebGL 2.0 15.0
Web XR (VR & AR) ❌⏳ 17 (only for visionOS)
Web Assembly 11.0
Clipboard 12.0
Credential Management 14.0
Payment Request 12.2
Payment Handler
Motion Sensors 4.2 to 12.1, back in 13.0
Touch Events 2.0
Pointer Events 13.2
Camera and Microphone Access (getUserMedia) 13.0
Advanced Camera Controls
Media Recorder 14.5
Media Session 15.0
Web Speech Synthesis 7.0
Web Speech Recognition 14.5
Web Bluetooth
WebAudio 6.0
Battery Status
Ambient Light
Battery Status
GamePad 10.3
Screen Wake Lock 16.4
User Activation 16.4
Device Memory
Idle Detection
Screen Orientation 16.4 (partial support)
Pointer Lock
Network Information
Screen Capture
Shape Detection ❌⏳ 17 (experimental)
SMS OTP input attribute 14.0
Virtual Keyboard
File through input 6.0
FileSystem Access (public fs)
FileSystem Access (origin private fs) 15.2
Storage Management: Persistent 15.2
Storage Management: Quota 17
Contact Picker 14.5 (experimental)
Web Sockets 4.2
WebRTC 11.0
Web Codecs 16.4
Web Notifications 16.4
Fullscreen 8.0 (iPad only)
Page Visibility 7.0
Web Authentication 14.5
Web Share 12.1
Web Share 2.0 15.0
Get Installed Related Apps

Safari-only abilities for PWAs #

Ability Since version Standard replacement?
Apple Pay JS 10.0 Payment Request (compatible)
Quick Look for Augmented Reality 12.0
<model> Element for Augmented Reality 17.0
WebMetal 12.2 (experimental) WebGL 2.0 (compatible)
Safari Push Notifications (mac-only) not on iOS Web Push (Safari 16)
Gesture touch events 4.0
Smart App Banners 6.0
Sign In with Apple 13.0

This is a quick and dirty list of abilities in the Web Platform and its compatibility in Safari and installed PWAs. Each ability has many properties or sub-abilities that may or may not be available on every browser, so check Can I Use to see how it works on iOS and iPadOS. Use always Feature Detection.

Contact me if you want to suggest a feature or report a bug in these tables.

This note is mantained by Maximiliano Firtman Twitter @firt About Newsletter

If you liked this newsletter and the content in this website, you can support me by a PayPal donation, or buying me a coffee. Thanks!