Apple to Update Webpage Scrolling In Mobile Safari



In response to recent criticism of AMP by Daring Fireball’s John Gruber, the creator and tech lead of Google AMP Malte Ubl has explained that his team filed a bug with Apple with respect to scrolling on Mobile Safari. They asked Apple to make the scroll inertia for that case the same as the normal scrolling. Turns out Apple might change the way scrolling works in Safari altogether.

“With respect to scrolling: We (AMP team) filed a bug with Apple about that (we didn’t implement scrolling ourselves, just use a div with overflow). We asked to make the scroll inertia for that case the same as the normal scrolling. 

Apple’s response was (surprisingly) to make the default scrolling like the overflow scrolling. So, with the next Safari release all pages will scroll like AMP pages. Hope Gruber is happy then :)”

In current iOS Safari, webpage scrolling is inconsistent from all other scrolling on the system. “This was an intentional decision made long ago. In addition, overflow areas are consistent with the rest of the system, and thus inconsistent with top-level webpage scrolling”, explained “Om2”, a developer who apparently works on WebKit for Apple.

Here’s what he wrote:

Having all scrolling be consistent feels good once you get used to it. 

That doesn’t necessarily mean it was a good idea for Google’s hosted AMP pages to use overflow scroll all along. The inconsistency definitely did feel weird. And the way they do scrolling prevents Safari from auto-hiding its top and bottom bars. I believe all the desired scroll effects could have been achieved without the use of overflow scroll.

It must be noted that web views have had different scrolling inertia than other scrolling views ever since the original iPhone. Although, Om2 is right that it soon feels normal. Head over to this link for full discussion.


  • johnnygoodface

    Has anyone understood a word of all of this???

  • IAN

    I couldn’t really understand it either…?

  • Larry

    Never noticed a problem with scrolling. Probably won’t notice the change.

  • poopchute

    In a nutshell;
    Safari on your iPhone scrolls differently than other apps.
    It was a conscious decision made by Apple many years ago.
    Over the years people have wondered why and complained.
    Now some engineers have brought the issue to light again.
    Apple has decided that their reasoning for having Safari perform differently is not valid anymore.
    So Apple will soon make Safari scroll like the rest of their apps.

    If you want to see a good example of the difference, load up Facebook in Safari and compare it to the app.

  • johnnygoodface

    I see. Yeap scrolling in app in more fluid. Thx for clarifying this