Ionic-webview plugin version compatibility

#1

Hi,

According to documentation Ionic supports Android 4.4 and iOS 10 onwards. Based on this, I would think that all ionic-team plugins should follow the same version support.

Could I kindly ask what happened with the WebView plugin recently?

Version 2 was a major bump to unify iOS/Android due to integrated web server by hosting the app from http://localhost. That’s superb, since prior to this it was only on iOS and Android was running from file:// protocol. This change, however, bumped the Android support to 5+.

Later on, thanks to pull requests, 4.4 support came back, therefore we have iOS 10 and Android 4.4 again. Great.

Now, with version 3, team decided to drop GCDWebServer on iOS and bump version requirement to iOS 11.

So, on one hand, ionic-team is bringing back support for old Android (thank god!), but then drastically dropping older iOS versions? iOS 11 does not support 32-bit devices anymore, leaving iPhone 5 and others on version 10.

GCDWebServer supports iOS 8, therefore I do not understand why was it 10+ only in the first place.

I wish we could simply think about latest versions. Our use case is an app for education sector, therefore we cannot simply drop iOS10 since there are still plenty of students using older devices like iPhone 5. Same goes for our IE11 support, since it’s deployed and locked down by network administrators as the default browser, but that’s unrelated here.

If the ionic-webview plugin is the default webview in Ionic apps, why is iOS 10 not supported OR why is it claiming that iOS 10 is supported on the main documentation pages? That change being so drastic is kind of a red flag for reliability and peace of mind with production use.

Cheers!

#2

You don’t have to use the latest.
Go back to a version you can deal with for your users

1 Like
#3

Thanks for your reply.

Yes, it seems that we will stick to the older version for the time being, but that’s not really the point of my question.

ionic 3 (stable): Android 4.4, iOS 10
ionic 4 (upcoming): Android 4.4, iOS 10

ionic-webview: Android 4.4, iOS 11
ionic-webview being the default WebView & announcement

ionic fork of wkwebview engine: 3.0.0 announcement here on forums …and deprecation in favour of ionic-webview

cordova-android: Android 4.4
cordova-ios 4.4: iOS 9

android usage: Android 4.4 has 7.6% in October 2018
ios usage: iOS 10 (or earlier) has 9% in December 2018, 7% on devices sold in the last 4 years

My point is that if Ionic claims iOS 10 support, then it should be actually supported. If it is not, maybe official documentation should reflect that. From what I could gather on GitHub, there was absolutely no reason to drop support for it other than “let’s make the codebase a bit more lightweight”.

Secondary point is that the plugin development moves quickly to fix issues (great), but also deprecates old platforms whilst doing so. This leaves old platforms with older plugins versions that are not maintained and, potentially, full of known bugs that will never be resolved. All that in a matter of few months (2.0.0 released on 2018-07-23).

#4

Sometimes we have to make decisions based on technical tradeoffs. In this case, dropping the webserver, which is a goal we’ve had for a while, means moving to APIs on iOS that are only available on 11+.

Also please note that we are supporting iOS 10. All you need to do is stay on 2.x. Don’t get so hung up on a version number! We will continue to work on new things with different platform support and release them as major version number releases (like 2.x to 3.x) while keeping the older version around.

Since iOS 10 now represents < 8% of usage, we think this is the right time to give users the option to move to a new version that no longer supports the webserver.

Please note that our support is sliding, meaning that we will eventually drop support for iOS 10 for Ionic. We have no reason to do that right now but the point is we keep the support window to the last three versions generally at the most and will keep adjusting as new versions are released.

In the meantime, we will work to backport any non-webserver fixes from 3 to 2.x to make sure all users can benefit.

3 Likes
Ionic 3 can't play local html5 video on ios
#5

This is a good move.