Discontinuation of UIWebView and its implication on MobileFirst apps
Important: If your app still embeds web content that uses the deprecated UIWebView API, we strongly encourage you to update to WKWebView, as soon as possible, for improved security and reliability. WKWebView ensures that compromised web content doesn’t affect the rest of an app by limiting web processing to the app’s web view. It is supported in iOS and macOS, and by Mac Catalyst.
Note: The App Store will no longer accept new apps that use UIWebView as of April 2020 and app updates that use UIWebView as of December 2020.
Since iOS 12, Apple began warning developers about migrating to WKWebView, UIWebView’s successor. Since last year, the warning
ITMS-90809: UIWebView API Deprecation was seen during app submission, if the app used UIWebview.
The message that you see while you upload app that uses UIWebview is as below.
We identified one or more issues with a recent delivery for your app, [App Name & version number]. Your delivery was successful, but you might want to correct the following issues in your next delivery:
ITMS-90809: Deprecated API Usage – Apple will stop accepting submissions of apps that use UIWebView APIs. See here, for more information.
After you’ve corrected the issues, you can use Xcode or Application Loader to upload a new binary to App Store Connect.
Upon app submission, Apple searches the app’s code for the “UIWebView” string then generates a submission warning if found. Therefore, a future release of MobileFirst based apps is required to ensure that all references to UIWebView APIs are removed.
What should you do
We recommend all developers to update their apps. Apple will only accept submissions of iOS apps that contain references to UIWebView until April 2020 (for new apps) and until December 2020 (for existing apps). To meet the new requirement, upgrade your MobileFirst SDK to iFix 188.8.131.52-IF202001211306.
If you want to update from cocopod, add
pod 'IBMMobileFirstPlatformFoundation' '~>8.0.2020011414' to your podfile.
If you’re using Cordova, see below.
Enabling WkWebview for Cordova/Ionic apps
The Cordova community released Cordova iOS 5.1.0, which disables UIWebview at compile time. To disable UIWebview with MFP cordova app, use following steps.
Add following lines to your config.xml file.
<preference name="WKWebViewOnly" value="true" />
Also, make sure that your Xcode project has Build setting -> User Defined setting WK_WEB_VIEW_ONLY set to 1 as below.
cordova prepare iosto apply the changes.
webkit.frameworkto your app in Build Phases of your project in Xcode as below.
Ensure that other Cordova plug-ins that might be using UIWebView are also updated to remove references to UIWebView. For example,
InAppBrowser plugin, The Cordova team released an update in January 2020. Be sure to update this plug-in to version 3.2.0 and above.
If you are using MobileFirst v7.1, then read the blog to learn about MobileFirst v7.1 support for the above App Store restriction.
- Cordova has not removed
CDVUIWebViewEngineintentionally because it is still using compiler directive
WK_WEB_VIEW_ONLYto enable and disable WKWebView. Therefore, you might still see a warning from Apple while publishing. You might have to remove
CDVUIWebViewEnginemanually if you are not using it.
- Add cordova-plugin-wkwebviewxhrfix plug-in while using
cordova-plugin-wkwebview-engineto get rid of CORS issue while using Direct Update.
We have recently fixed the following issue, which is seen only after we replace WKWebview with UIWebview in our MFP cordova plugin.
PH25696 FAIL TO LOAD VIEW AFTER DIRECT UPDATE ON IOS 12 USING WKWEBVIEW
We introduced the fix to circumvent a known iOS issue where app fails to reload after Direct Update due to file permission. The issue is fixed in iOS 13 and seen on only older iOS versions.
We also introduced the following fixes in our plugin in order to address user experience concerns post WKWebview migration.
- PH24759 DIRECT UPDATE PROGRESS BAR REMAINS STUCK DURING DIRECT UPDATE ON WKWEBVIEW
- PH26880 FIX IN ERROR HANDLING FOR DIRECT UPDATE USING WKWEBVIEW
We recommend customers to migrate to cordova-plugin-mfp version 8.0.2020070310 if they are using cordova-ios 5.1.1 with WkWebview.
Inclusive terminology note: The Mobile First Platform team is making changes to support the IBM® initiative to replace racially biased and other discriminatory language in our code and content with more inclusive language. While IBM values the use of inclusive language, terms that are outside of IBM's direct influence are sometimes required for the sake of maintaining user understanding. As other industry leaders join IBM in embracing the use of inclusive language, IBM will continue to update the documentation to reflect those changes.