Top 6 Safari Browser Compatibility Issues to Consider

Here are some of the Top Safari Browser Compatibility Issues developers might face.

Apple’s Safari possesses the second highest market share of 19.24% in the global space. It is considered one of the most technologically advanced web browsers in the market of enterprise mobility in terms of faster browsing, effective UI, and several other features. Despite a strong competition given its biggest contender Google Chrome, Safari remains a credible choice for a specific set of requirements and features.

To test Safari browser, website developers first need to check the compatibility of the browser with clients’ applications. The latest incorporation of WebKit with the Nitro JavaScript engine has enhanced the browsing experience on Safari. However, it may not be that easy to engage in rule-abided compatibility. 

Here, we shall discuss some of the significant compatibility issues website developers and testers might face while checking their applications’ performance on Safari.

Top Safari Browser Compatibility Issues

1.Changing Default Browser

iOS 14 users would need entitlement access permission from the browser team through email to use different browsers having browsing as a primary use. Currently, the system only allows the latest versions of Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge to have the entitlement access permission for users.

It has complicated the process to change the default browser which can be done through separate browsers’ settings. You may find different panels in each browser where you can set it as your default browser. However, it seems to have a bug because of which the default browser will be reset as Safari once the system has been restarted. In such a case, users again need to change the default browsers from Safari to the desired ones.

2.UX Inconsistencies

Browsers do not demand additional API for being the default browser neither the other apps question this issue regarding that browser which at the end drives UX inconsistencies.

This can cause some issues in SafariViewController during the execution of a website. For example, when you run a website on SafariViewController, such as clicking a link on Twitter that may have a Safari icon that may guide you to other browsers, such as Chrome or Firefox.

Another example is the Facebook mobile browser; if the default mobile browser is Chrome, then the link accessed from Facebook Mobile Browser, which is supposed to open on Safari, will open on Chrome as it is the default browser.

Apps that provide the option to choose the preferred browser should improve their function, otherwise, there will be no alternative promptly to access a link in the Safari browser. Feedly is one of the examples of these types of applications.

Safari does not have a custom protocol to open a URL, hence there is no way to force Safari to open a URL, which you can now do on some other browsers. You can force open an HTTPS URL on Google Chrome, Firefox, or Edge using URI schemes.

3.Geolocation Changes

You can choose a specific location to share if you want an estimated range for a particular application if you are an iOS 14 user. But, what about the websites or PWAs managing through W3C geolocation API? Not many explanations can be found, but let us deduce what exactly occurs.

You can change use the latest feature on Safari for changing the exact location from Settings. For that, go to Settings>Privacy and access Location Services manually. This feature is quite useful, and the comparable range of the location is pretty accurate too.

Although this change is performed on Safari on the Geolocation API is not specified, hence this latest setting is unknown to the website or PWA.

When you enable Safari to access your location, it is unnoticeable for Safari allowing precise/approximate permission for a particular website or PWA. For iOS 14 you can choose to share your approximate location rather than precise location.  This can correspondingly influence different browsers automatically.

4.Progressive Web Apps

Progressive web apps are becoming more famous day by day. PWAs execution becomes influenced by unsupportable settings, listed as:

  • When your default browser/ Alternative browsers do not support PWA installation.
  • The current Shared Library does not seem to accept PWAs thoroughly.
  • Service Worker’s Memory presently assigned with Safari
  • Side View settings of the PWAs along with other running Apps or operating two PWAs alongside (an option for iPad users). 
  • Sometimes, solving a bug can raise further limitations.

When you download a PWA on any Android device, it is possible that you will only be able to use partial storage like Cookies, Web Storage, and IndexedDB (as these are kept separate from Safari). The Service Workers registration and CacheStorage of PWAs are shared with Safari, which your Android might not be able to support.

At this point, when you introduce some PWAs, you can proceed with your session on the independent experience. For instance, on Pinterest, you are signed in on the browser version, then automatically, you are signed in inside the App. However, you might face a few glitches, presumably due to storage issues. Not sure yet why it occurred if cookies are treated separately.

5.HTML/CSS Code Validation

HTML used to be a primary web language, but HTML imports have now become out-of-date. You can replace it with a more reliable alternative like ES modules or server-side includes.

Some of the CSS code is not supported in different browser types, including Safari, making it the main reason for cross-browser compatibility concerns. Making the website content stylish and attractive for the visitors is also necessary, but most developers are sacrificing the browser compatibility due to this reason. 

  • Some browsers do not support all types of CSS value.
  • Old browsers do not approve the CSS property background-repeat:space.
  • Old browsers do not approve the CSS property background-repeat:round.
  • Old browsers do not approve the CSS property box-shadow: anymore.
  • The CSS property filter: is no longer backed by some browsers.
  • The CSS property grid: is unsupported by some browsers.
  • Some browsers do not interpret CSS keyword revert.
  • Some browsers do not support clip-path: CSS property. 

6.Incompatible With Some Specific Websites

If you use the Safari browser, then you might notice some compatibility issues with some websites. Whereas, the same websites will be running efficiently on other browsers like Internet Explorer, Firefox, Camino, etc. 

These issues can occur while entering your data on the website or when you try to play an audio or video on the Safari browser. That can be frustrating for the users.

Even some websites do not mention Safari as the compatible browser as a running platform.

Yes, you can indeed face these issues with any of the browsers. But why  Safari becomes the target often? Every browser is coded in different ways and suitable for a particular operating system. So, is the issue lies in Java coding or the fact it is Unix based (Since Flash video player is originally written for Windows supported browsers).

After these years, when mobile devices are so dominant, it could not surpass the PC oriented users. Internet Explorer is the original handler of the website platform, and most of the web developers develop the website by keeping IE into consideration. 

Furthermore, Microsoft still practices Mac incompatible proprietary coding in its Active-X format. Conclusively, some websites are continuing their use of this format even when it is outdated and redundant.


It is crucial to make sure that the website performs its functions ideally on different devices and browsers to reach several visitors. Cross-browser testing plays a vital role in this, which makes it an essential element of web development. There are different types of browsers available in the market, due to which cross-browser testing is now a fundamental requirement in any web development project.

Even with several browsers, Safari is keeping its ground firm with reliable support from Apple. You can follow the above measures to secure the compatibility of your website. Yet, we suggest that you treat your website equally to all the selected browsers for testing, then only your website can be able to meet cross-browser compatibility standards.

LambdaTest provides all the needed testing solutions to fulfill this ultimate need for browser compatibility testing. You can also identify other issues on your website through our testing resolutions. Web developers and testers are expected to avoid the issues mentioned in this article. By avoiding these issues, you will be able to deliver a perfect running website to your client on time. Manage browser compatibility testing as a fundamental step of the software development process, ensuring a successfully running website.

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