State of Apple Mobile Audio 2019

Apple Music is built as a PWA but continuous background audio playback in playlists is still not supported.

Yesterday Apple launched their music streaming service as a web-based app: Interestingly it’s built as a progressive web app. Although it’s far from perfect it is a remarkable first (?) step of Apple to develop a PWA and espescially to offer streaming audio.

Apple Music as Progressive Web App
Progressive Web App score with Google’s audit tool Lighthouse

“The app looks and feels a lot like the Music app coming to Catalina later this fall” says Macstories. Let’s see:

On one hand it’s interesting to see that Apple considers the web again if not for discovery then for promoting for sure. I wondered what’s the state of audio background autoplay on mobile Safari though. So I ran a few tests on different web-based services and tools:

Audio comparison chart for iOS handhelds
Audio behavior comparison chart for iOS handhelds

If the red column turns blue one day I see hope for indie labels in the age of music streaming: they could built progressive web apps with audio players that stream music even if the phone is locked, suited for fans and to own the direct-relationship again.

Let’s hope this last bottle neck will drop and that web audio will be fully supported one day and not just partially by Apple.