Faking WebKit on Windows Phone 8.1

Sunday, 11 January 2015

This is what it looks like:

Downloading the native app.. whoops! I know what's going on, but think of the average user. Microsoft are actually shooting themselves in the foot here by showing users what they can't have on a Windows Phone and need to switch to Android to get.

When an app isn't available on Windows Phone, the fallback is its web app. Unfortunately this is a sub-bar experience on Windows Phone 8.1, and I fear will continue to be as long as WebKit isn't adopted as Microsoft's browser's rendering engine. The recently leaked Windows 10 browser changes suggest it will be easier to use but the UI improvements won't necessarily result in better UX.

I'm certain Windows 10's browser will render the web better. It might even support more web standards than the competition. But as long as web developers continue to ignore Trident (i.e. not routinely test against IE) in order to to have the optimal mobile web experience you'll need to be on an iPhone or Android phone.