What you need to know
- Apple will support the WebM audio codec with Safari in iOS 15.
- macOS added support for the codec in Safari already.
Safari in iOS 15 is playing some catchup with macOS.
As spotted by 9to5Mac, the latest beta of iOS 15 has added support for the WebM audio codec in the Safari app. The codec, which has already been supported in Safari on macOS Big Sur, has been missing support for Safari on the iPhone. iOS 15 appears to be the time to line up that experience.
According to the report, Apple had hesitated to adopt WebM codes in the past but has recently brought them to macOS with both the audio and video codecs.
The WebM audio codec is part of the open media file format created by Google in 2010, which also includes the WebM video codec and WebP image extension. Apple has never been interested in adopting the WebP and WebM formats in the past, as Steve Jobs once said that Google's codecs were "a mess."
The company has finally added support for WebP images to Safari with iOS 14 and macOS Big Sur. Another update to Safari 14 on macOS also added support for the WebM video codec, but this was never added to the iOS version of Safari. Now, with the WebM audio codec available in iOS, it's probably only a matter of time before Apple adds WebM video support to its mobile operating system.
Apple is expected to launch iOS 15 alongside the iPhone 13 this fall. Safari in iOS 15 has been completely redesigned with a floating and interactive search bar towards the bottom of the screen.
The new design has been met with some skepticism, leading Apple to make small changes to the user experience over the course of the iOS 15 beta releases.