iOS Hacker Shows Web Browser Running on Apple Watch

MacRumors

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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iOS developer Nicholas Allegra, better known by his handle "comex" within the jailbreaking community, shared a short video on Twitter that shows a web browser running on the Apple Watch. The fifteen-second clip shows Allegra tapping, panning and zooming on the Google homepage on the Apple Watch, but the functionality is limited as to be expected because of the small screen size and lack of an on-screen keyboard.

"I always wanted a web browser on my wrist," tweeted Allegra, who later shared another picture of the iOS built-in dictionary running on the Apple Watch. Allegra stopped short of providing details about the hack, but a web browser running on the Apple Watch is an interesting proof-of-concept and fuels the possibility of an Apple Watch jailbreak or native apps with web browsing capabilities in the future.

Apple confirmed last November that fully native Apple Watch apps will be available later this year, but it remains unclear what restrictions Apple will place on them. Apple Watch apps are currently loaded from a paired iPhone via Bluetooth as WatchKit extensions, and developers do not have access to the Apple Watch's gyroscope, accelerometer, built-in speaker, microphone or Taptic Engine.

Allegra was an active member of the jailbreaking community in the early years of iOS devices, while attending Brown University in Rhode Island. Under the pseudonym "comex," he revived JailbreakMe.com in early 2011 as a one-tap jailbreaking solution for compatible iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices at the time. He later interned at Apple in 2011 and Google in 2013.

Article Link: iOS Hacker Shows Web Browser Running on Apple Watch
 

macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
11,030
14,844
Central U.S.
It's cool but extremely impractical. As a web designer I refuse to design yet another breakpoint for a watch, haha!
 

tevion5

macrumors 68000
Jul 12, 2011
1,829
1,186
Ireland
It's cool but extremely impractical. As a web designer I refuse to design yet another breakpoint for a watch, haha!
I hear you! I'm just studying for my web design module in Computer Science right now and that last thing I want is another batch of micro CSS to cover...
 

furi0usbee

macrumors 68000
Jul 11, 2008
1,781
1,264
Just because you can doesn't mean you should. I wonder who will cry first that the Apple Watch doesn't support Flash!
 

macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
11,030
14,844
Central U.S.
I hear you! I'm just studying for my web design module in Computer Science right now and that last thing I want is another batch of micro CSS to cover...
Especially if you're like me (and many designers out there) and start mobile first with a base.scss that gets compiled together with the other breakpoints. In this case the base would be the watch and kill me.
 

nfl46

macrumors 604
Oct 5, 2008
7,278
5,492
I'll wait on the Apple Watch Plus for a browser. Usability on a 38mm and 42mm is useless.
 

AngerDanger

macrumors 601
Dec 9, 2008
4,839
23,031
iOS developer Nicholas Allegra, better known by his handle "comex" within the jailbreaking community, shared a short video on Twitter that shows a web browser running on the Apple Watch. The fifteen-second clip shows Allegra tapping, panning and zooming on the Google homepage on the Apple Watch, but the functionality is limited as to be expected because of the small screen size and lack of an on-screen keyboard.
Dictation could address that, and iCloud keychain could handle password entry. Now… what to do about the tiny-as-all-bloody-hell screen…
 

ArtOfWarfare

macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
8,833
4,582
The browser is a relic of the late 20th century.
It's half-dead in phones / pads and DOA in wearables.
I think you're confused... browsers are becoming more common, not less common. There are now entire computers whose sole purpose is to browse the web. It's native apps that are dying.
 

Parasprite

macrumors 68000
Mar 5, 2013
1,698
144
I think you're confused... browsers are becoming more common, not less common. There are now entire computers whose sole purpose is to browse the web. It's native apps that are dying.
I'm pretty sure they were being satirical.
 

Benjamin Frost

Suspended
May 9, 2015
2,405
4,999
London, England
The Apple Watch marks a break from the past for Apple in that it has no browser. This limits its functionality dramatically.

It will also be very hard for developers to make money off, which is one of the key reasons why it will fail.
 

JustThinkin'

macrumors 6502
Oct 21, 2014
418
289
It's cool but extremely impractical. As a web designer I refuse to design yet another breakpoint for a watch, haha!
Exactly what I was going to say. It's cool he did it, it's cool you can do it, it's a cool idea.


But few people will actually want to do it, because of the small screen size. Unless the entire paradigm of the web changes (to just information nibblets) it's of minimal use. The internet can still be used to distribute "small" information, but a whole new type of application (other than a web browser) would be required.


In fact, this is an example of how the Watch itself is different - mostly useful for niche applications, and/or usage scenarios requiring new paradigms.
 

Rogifan

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2011
21,832
27,283
The Apple Watch marks a break from the past for Apple in that it has no browser. This limits its functionality dramatically.

It will also be very hard for developers to make money off, which is one of the key reasons why it will fail.
LOL at anyone who thinks a screen size that small should have a web browser. What's next, will you say the Watch is a failure because it doesn't have a QWERTY keyboard?
 

Michael Goff

Suspended
Jul 5, 2012
13,329
7,415
LOL at anyone who thinks a screen size that small should have a web browser. What's next, will you say the Watch is a failure because it doesn't have a QWERTY keyboard?
I demand a QWERTY keyboard and an 8mp camera! Also, I should be able to plug it into a TV and play 1080p iOS games at 60fps! No lag, minimal loading time!

/s
 
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