“Why doesn’t SquadCast support iOS or Safari?“ is a common question that we have received from many Podcast Hosts and Guests. iOS is the second most popular mobile operating system after all, with 22.74% of the market. Safari is the second most popular web browser with 15.89% of the market on Desktop and 20.81% on Mobile. So why doesn’t SquadCast support iOS and Safari?
Tl;dr – The Short Answer
As of August 2021 no web browser available on iOS, including Safari, supports the Web Standards required to record remote interviews on SquadCast. Apple committed to implementing these Standards in 2004 and is rolling them out in a future iOS update, at which point SquadCast should work as intended on both iOS and Safari. We’re all looking forward to this very much and appreciate your patience with the state of Web Standards. All other web browsers including Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Opera, and Brave fully support SquadCast on desktop/laptop and Android devices.
The Long Answer
Web vs Native Apps
SquadCast is a Web App and is not a native Mobile App. The main reason for this is because we seek to make it easy for Guests to join their Hosts in recording sessions with as little commitment or setup as possible. Finding and installing the SquadCast app prior to connecting would add friction to the Guest experience. With the SquadCast Web App, Guests simply click a link and are connected without any download, install, or setup. Moreover, Web Apps work very well on Desktop and Mobile web browsers, in theory.
Web Standards in Theory
Apple, Google, and the like that offer modern web browsers empower Web Apps, like SquadCast, to offer unique but consistent experiences. In theory, they all agree on a set of Web Standards that ensure a common way for app developers to build their apps and for visitors to have the same great user experience across different platform choices. However, in real life, the situation is, unfortunately, more complex for both app developers and visitors.
Web Standards IRL
Too often these standards bodies and the companies that comprise them agree in theory but are misaligned on implementation details, timeline, or just decide to change their mind after meetings conclude. The variations in their implementations can sometimes be vast and have lead to resources like CanIUse.com or the Browser Compatibility tables within the Mozilla Developer Network’s documentation, like the one above for the MediaStream type that contains the functionality and permissions model of microphone and or camera streams available to app developers. Note that all of the web browsers “support” MediaStream itself, but the further you fall down the rabbit hole of implementation details, the more they start to vary in support.
iOS and Safari
SquadCast depends on a number of Web Standards to facilitate and empower remote interviews to be recorded in studio quality. Apple has been part of the editors responsible for authoring the specifications we require since their inception in 2004 and has committed to supporting them in a future iOS update, TBD. We’re all looking forward to this very much and appreciate your patience with the state of Web Standards.
- iOS 14 in Fall 2020 did not add support for the Web standards required to record on SquadCast
- In March 2021 SquadCast Engineers met with Developer Relations from the WebKit team to discuss the missing Web Standards and how we can collaborate on adding them
- iOS 15 beta and Safari 14.1.1 in Summer 2021 have not fully added support for the Web standards required to record on SquadCast, but only one API looks to be missing
- iOS, iPadOS, and Safari 15.2 in Winter 2021 have added full support for the Web standards required to record on SquadCast 🥳🥳🥳