The first beta of iOS 15.4 continues to bring surprises. After the slew of new features we’ve seen appear in this release, it looks like there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye. Safari’s advanced settings suggest big changes in Safari.

Push notifications in PWA, and also support for AR/VR headsets

As developer Maximiliano Firtman posted, the iOS 15.4 beta includes improvements in icon handling that Safari makes custom favicons for sites. Support that makes it easy to offer personalized and specific icons for these web apps without having to make the link with the touch icon.

“For four years we had Safari on iOS supporting the web app manifesto (March 11-3, 2018), but the icon declaration was always ignored (a lack of support that never been documented by Apple or WebKit, for that matter).This has led to many Progressive Web App installs on iOS without a proper icon, as you also need to add an icon with rel=apple-touch-icon in your HTML, and not all PWA developers did that.”

The biggest change, however, is to push notifications for PWAs, a very important feature that, for now, is only available on Mac. our iPhone or iPad could send us notifications even if the application is in the background or even closed.

The iOS 15.4 beta includes two new experimental WebKit features in Safari settings: “Embedded Web Notifications” and “Push API”. For now, these don’t work in the first beta, but they mark the company’s intention to test and eventually enable these features.

A more powerful Safari, with native app notes

A PWA is not an application. That said, however, it’s curious how Apple plans to give web apps more capabilities. Capabilities that, until now, were only present in applications and which pushed developers to offer their experiences in an application rather than only from the web.

The inclusion of these features in a beta, while in addition they are not operational and are hidden in the experimental features section, is not, by far, proof that Apple will make them reach the general public. . This, however, indicates the company’s interest in this area.

Changing the subject, but still inside Safari, Firtman also discovered the WebXR API. This API, which is disabled by default and does not seem functional in the first beta, is intended to support virtual and augmented reality headsets on websites. Some headsets that are rumored to be arriving at the end of this year. We will wait for news.