New WebKit policies in iOS 10 to allow autoplay of silent videos in Safari, pause those with audio

Posted:
in iPhone edited July 2016
In a bid to improve user experience, Apple's mobile Safari web browser in iOS 10 will autoplay silent videos and pause those with sound, a change that enables automatic playback of GIFs -- at least those converted to video -- while halting potentially disruptive content like ads.




Announced by Jer Noble in a post to the WebKit blog on Monday, the forthcoming changes come thanks to new WebKit policies regarding how the browser engine handles video elements.

Currently, WebKit policies require a user gestures, like a tap or touch, to play media in video and audio elements in Safari for iOS. The restrictions were initially implemented to save on operating bandwidth and power usage, but came at the cost of a somewhat clunky user interface.

More importantly, Safari gesture requirements can in some cases prevent media-rich webpages from rendering correctly, making them unusable.

WebKit's new policies are crafted to take into consideration both the correct presentation of video elements and the costs of displaying those elements in Safari. As a result, WebKit will allow video elements to autoplay without a user gesture if the source media contains no audio track or if that track is muted. Once an audio track is detected, or if the track becomes un-muted without user intervention, playback will automatically pause. Playback also stops when the element is no longer visible on screen.

Further, video media encoded as an inline element will no longer default to fullscreen playback.

For end users, the policy modifications should deliver a more intuitive experience when browsing modern webpages in Safari. For example, WebKit's policies will afford automatic playback of popular animated GIF images (a number of major GIF providers now convert the resource-intensive format into bite-sized video elements).

Apple is expected to release iOS 10 alongside a next-generation iPhone lineup this fall.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 10
    linkmanlinkman Posts: 923member
    Browsers need a user-selectable option to open new pages muted or any new tabs muted.
  • Reply 2 of 10
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,301member
    I still get thrown into the App Store visiting benign news sites due to their takeover ads. Why can't these horrendous ads be stopped? And I use all the top content blockers for Safari on iOS.
    edited July 2016 tallest skillostkiwi
  • Reply 3 of 10
    macseekermacseeker Posts: 445member
    If that's the new policy, I would like to see a setting that blocks the videos when using a mobile Internet connection.
    redraider11jasenj1dysamoriabonobob
  • Reply 4 of 10
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,113moderator
    Seems like the way videos and GIFs auto play in FB.  
  • Reply 5 of 10
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    macseeker said:
    If that's the new policy, I would like to see a setting that blocks the videos when using a mobile Internet connection.
    Blockr can do that,though I don't think it's automated.
    edited July 2016 redraider11
  • Reply 6 of 10
    Dislike!
    redraider11
  • Reply 7 of 10
    ksecksec Posts: 1,566member
    I really hope Apple work on magic into Safari then. I have yet to see a Browser capable of smooth browsing experience on a page with multiple Gif 
  • Reply 8 of 10
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    ksec said:
    I really hope Apple work on magic into Safari then. I have yet to see a Browser capable of smooth browsing experience on a page with multiple Gif 
    Sounds like you need a lot more RAM… or literally anything, really. What’s “multiple”?
  • Reply 9 of 10
    lostkiwilostkiwi Posts: 602member
    I still get thrown into the App Store visiting benign news sites due to their takeover ads. Why can't these horrendous ads be stopped? And I use all the top content blockers for Safari on iOS.
    Which ones do you use?
    I read using multiple CBs slows your device down without any significant benefits in blocking. Has that been your experience, or would you recommend it?
    I only use 1Blocker myself and have found it to be fairly good with English speaking sites. 
    edited July 2016 dysamoria
  • Reply 10 of 10
    This is going to fix the crap that shows up on MacWorld.

    What a tedious site that has become over the years.
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