Web dev at the end of the world, from Hveragerði, Iceland

Should I make a WWDC prediction?
Yes, let’s

I’m only going to make one quick prediction:

Apple is going to expand and open up out-of-process rendering and execution in iOS9 and Mac OS X 10.11.

I know, right? That would be so cool.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, let me explain:

Last year iOS and Mac OS X added support for configurable and extensible out-of-process rendering in the form of Extensions, Actions, and an improved WebView (WKWebView).

Expanding that support so that any app could delegate one or more of its view objects to an external app (let’s call it UIExtensionView for now) would solve a few problems currently plaguing iOS.

Specifically, it would solve the problem where every app has its own browser view with its own UI, features, settings, and quirks. Instead, the parent app would just point at UIExtensionView and say ‘let the default app render this crap’ and suddenly the browser popup in every app on iOS is configured, rendered, and controlled by Safari.

If all they did was introduce a SafariView then that would be awesome on its own (“I’m logged in everywhere, yay!"). But, in theory, they could marry the extension architecture with a WKWebView-style out-of-process rendering and let any app take care of the rendering of a file format across the entire OS.

Imagine a Dropbox app where the preview pane of a DOCX file is an actual instance of Microsoft Word, running in its own view. This would enable a level of integration that regular multitasking could never pull off.

This actually centralises control in Apple’s hands.


First of all, if all in-app browsers become SafariViews then Apple has centralised control over most of your browsing in its own app.

Second, using out-of-process rendering as a model for multitasking instead of split views or multiple windows gives Apple the power to block specific app multitasking combinations through both the API or the app review process.

And Apple really likes to be able to control that sort of thing.

Anyway, that’s the bet I’m making.

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