When Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone nine years ago this month, he made a big point about iOS Safari, the first desktop-class mobile browser. He said — and proceeded to prove — that Mobile Safari could render the web with no compromises.
But that was a decade ago. The web’s moved on. So how does today’s web look on an original iPhone?
It’s interesting to see which sites care about performing on outdated hardware. For example, The New York Times still looks great on iOS 3.1.3, as does Facebook (and Medium, too). But sites like The Verge, which appeal to cutting-edge tech readers, are basically unreadable in the ancient version of iOS.
One thing that’s universally worse on older iPhones? Rendering times. Even if websites render perfectly on the first-gen iPhone, it takes orders of magnitude longer on the old mobile OS. The Verge, for example, takes over three minutes to load on an original iPhone, compared to 2.8 seconds on an iPhone 6s Plus.
It would be great to see more examples of sites that work well on iOS 3.1.3. How does Cult of Mac read on an original iPhone, or Apple’s own website, for that matter? Anyone have an original iPhone around able to tell us? Let us know in the comments.