The KIK app was last updated in February 2012 and VOIP specialist TruTowers have decided to ask KIK what’s going on.
It turns out the issue is KIK Cards, small HTML5-based mini-apps that are embedded inside the KIK app which can be used for playing games, searching for YouTube videos and more.
Kik Messenger CEO Ted Livingston told TruTowers in a phone interview that the problem was due to Microsoft ignoring Webkit support on Windows Phone.
Livingston said it’s “not fair to developers to ask them to support WP” when it would require extra and unnecessary work to port the Card-based features to Windows Phone that are already openly supported by both iOS and Android.
Livingston said that Kik wanted to “do what’s best for the user” and having a unified standard across all platforms would certainly improve the user experience.
“If Microsoft puts Webkit on Windows Phone,” Livingston told us, “we’ll develop for [the platform].”
While we can sympathize with KIK not wanting to test across multiple rendering engines, it seems KIK is coding to one rendering engine rather than to the HTML5 standard itself, and could be painting themselves into a corner should Apple or Google for example suddenly update or change their rendering engine.
This preoccupation has resulted in Microsoft spoofing Webkit support in IE11, which may force developers to actually test their apps rather than automatically assume the IE rendering engine can not do the job.
Thanks B for the tip.