Jan 31, 2021
open webjavascript

Long Live the Web

I recently purchased an iPad Mini Generation 3 on Kjiji for \$200 that turned out to be an iPad Generation 1. I did manage to get half of the cost back but when I tried to install apps I realized that, despite having been updated as recently as 2016, whatever sofware my iPad supported was no longer being used by what seemed like the vast majority of apps on the App Store.

The only apps that I could use were the apps that came pre-installed. Luckily, Safari is one of these apps which means that I could at least browse the web. Since my primary use for the iPad was reading articles and papers online, this worked great. Except for a few situations, most websites worked exactly as expected.

It made me realize how important the web platform is for accessibility. The first generation iPad Mini, released in November 2012, received 4 years of software updates. After these stopped, each successive software update saw the proportion of App Store apps that still supported the first-generation iPad Mini decrease. If not for the open web, the eight-year-old piece of hardware would have been useless.

I've often grumbled about the peculiarities of JavaScript but the fact that it's always backwards compatible truly is incredible. I plan to be more hesitant about dropping support for older browsers in the future.

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