Scrolling mobile web pages in Safari is about to get a whole lot smoother

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Jeffrey Van Camp / Digital Trends
Apple is making changes to the way the Safari mobile browser operates in order to make scrolling smoother, regardless of the website being viewed. As it stands, certain sites can scroll a little differently depending on whether they use Google’s accelerated mobile pages (AMP) system.

Although Google’s AMP system is supposed to speed up page navigation and scrolling, it’s not something everyone is happy with. Daring Fireball’s Jon Gruber bashed the system on a Hacker News post. This lead to a member of the AMP team commenting about the scrolling disparity in Safari. They claimed to be aware of the issue and that they had actually spoken to Apple about it. Better yet, the Cupertino, California-based company listened.

Instead of taking the AMP team’s suggestion that it make scrolling on AMP sites the same as those on regular sites, it’s pledged to do the opposite. As Engadget explains, the reason is that Google’s AMP scrolling in Safari is actually far closer to how scrolling works in other aspects of iOS, due to a deliberate design decision in Safari made some time ago.

That decision is no longer relevant, so Apple is now looking to make scrolling faster and smoother across all websites, regardless of their AMP implementation.

This is likely to be a mixed bag of an announcement for iOS users. While a unified scrolling experience is much less confusing for the average user and AMP has its fans, there are others who don’t like the way it operates. AMP currently breaks a few features on Safari, such as auto-scrolling at certain taps and automatically hiding top and bottom bars.

Certain developers don’t like the way that Google has control of such an important part of the iOS ecosystem either, but with Apple planning to make AMP-like changes to Safari, they may have to accept that moving forward.

Apple is expected to implement the new, AMP-like scrolling officially in the next Safari mobile release.


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