Safari View Controller is a brand new feature in recently released iOS 9 that allows the developers to enable an in-app browser, itself based on Safari, that uses many of the features which make using standalone Safari so great. Some (but not all!) of the benefits are the possibility to use current logins, access the keychain and use autofill. And of course, there’s more – please continue reading below.
Earlier, developers had to make due with browsers of their own making for their apps, which actually meant that users couldn’t make use of ongoing logins, the keychain, or use autofill when viewing the web through said browsers. As you imagine, that resulted in a less than ideal and disconnected user experience. However, how, things have finally changed, and they have changed for the better.
Apple has remedied this problem by actually letting the developers use Safari View Controller in order to end the separation between the sites and data that they are already using, and the apps that they love. So far, it seems to be working, and we hope that this trend continues, and that more and more apps get this much needed upgrade.
Sadly, as you might have guessed, not all apps yet support Safari View Controller. Some of the most popular apps out there, such as Gmail, Twitter, and WhatsApp, to list just a few, still use their own built in browsers. However, with SafariViewController, there is a real attempt at fixing the issue. You can once again reclaim the said apps, and all that for free.
Once you have finally installed SFSafariViewController, it starts operating immediately, without any special input from the user himself (or herself). There are additional no options or settings that you need to set up in order for the tweak to work – it’s all already been set up for your enjoyment.
In order to test this app, we opened a random link within the official Twitter app, and it has worked just as it was advertised. This is how the process went: there was the custom browser for Twitter. This browser does not really have any current login info, keychain access, or autofill access. However, after we made use of our much-beloved Safari View Controller tweak, it looked similar to Safari, and it’s exactly the same as other apps that support Safari View Controller. The benefits here are many, to say the least, but as we have already sead, it means access to the keychain, and autofill.
As an unexpected and yet welcome bonus, the tweak in addition supports SKStoreProductViewController. In essence, that means that App Store links can also open in-app. However, this feature seems to be a bit of a work in progress, though, as alert view pop ups still appear on opening an App Store link in-app, adding unneeded friction. We assume that this bug fix should come soon.
We are overjoyed to see a release from developer MohammedAG, who is the producer of this tweak. His releases always seem to be practical and useful additions, and SFSafariViewController of all the things is no exception. We hope he continues his work to benefit us all.
The tweak can be obtained completely for free on the BigBoss repo. Did you get this tweak? If so, please be so kind to let us know if you encounter any issues, bugs, comments or criticisms. Your opinions are very valuable to us, and they can really improve the user experience long term. You don’t deserve any less.