I have some iPads I'd like my staff to use. However, these are 4th generation iPads, so the latest iOS I'm able to install on them is v10.3.3. However, the website they need to access requires a more modern browser than the built-in Safari.

We tried downloading the Chrome app, but it seems the Chrome app is using the Safari engine.

Is there any way to use a modern browser (one that supports ES6+ Javascript) on iOS 10.3.3?

  • 5
    All browsers must use the safari engine. It's a rule from Apple. What us the feature the browser needs?
    – mmmmmm
    Apr 13, 2018 at 23:32
  • I don't know the features exactly, I know these websites (internal) generally utilize ES2016/ES2017 features though.
    – at01
    Apr 13, 2018 at 23:54

3 Answers 3


From what little I know about ECMAScript Safari on iOS (which all browsers must use for rendering web pages, as @Mark pointed out in his comment) some things are supported but many are not. And your guess is as good as anyone's as to why that is the case (not to mention off-topic here).

So you are likely out of luck for full ECMAScrip support on iOS unless you want to go the jailbreak route. We can't help with that and I don't know if there is a browser for jailbroken iOS devices that does support ECMAScript.

  • sadly i think you're right. Apple won't allow updates to Safari on the older iOS, and it won't allow any other browser to use a different webkit. So jailbreak is the only other option. Dec 30, 2019 at 22:27
  • Do you know any browser which can be installed via jailbreak and which is more up to date than Safari 10? I did not find any...
    – Jean Paul
    Aug 17, 2020 at 22:23

As far as I know, not currently.

According to this ES6 compatibility table, the only iOS browser supporting this is Safari in iOS 11 (which supports 99% of the ES6 implementation).

It's not clear though how often the above table is updated, or whether it would include other browsers when they offer support for ES6+ on iOS (I note they only list Safari for iOS and no other browser).

Since there are many browsers available for iOS and most of them are regularly updated, it would be worth downloading a few of them and updating regularly to see if any of them support ES6+ in future.

As a minimum I would continue to keep an eye on Chrome, Firefox and even Microsoft Edge (which even supports iOS 9) in case they offer support. However, it would be worth keeping an eye on Opera and Dolphin as well.


Just a minor clarification. The reason I am recommending that you download and keep an eye on other browsers is that their developers may opt to make them still compatible with earlier devices, even though at their core they're still using the Webkit engine. In other words, while the version of Safari using the latest Webkit only works on iOS 11 or above, there's nothing stopping another browser using the latest Webkit being compatible with iOS 10, etc.

  • 1
    All iOS browsers are required to use Safari for doing the actual rendering, so they will all have exactly the same level of support for ES6 etc. Apr 14, 2018 at 1:24
  • Yes, agreed. I'll update my answer to be a little clearer. What I was suggesting is that another browser, while still using Webkit, may also support older versions of iOS. So, if the version of Safari using the latest Webkit and supporting ES6+ only works on iOS 11 or above, there's nothing stopping another browser using the latest Webkit but making that browser compatible with iOS 10, etc.
    – Monomeeth
    Apr 14, 2018 at 1:33
  • 1
    @Monomeeth - use newer WebKit than is installed (by Apple) on the device - are you sure? I've searched for any confirmation of this, but have not found any. Apps are required to call the iOS built-in WKWebView - which is part of Apple's install of WebKit - so obviously depends on Apple-provided iOS and Safari versions - how would one take advantage of features in a newer version of WebKit, while rendering via Apple's WKWebView? Oct 17, 2019 at 15:12
  • @ToolmakerSteve Thanks for your comment. :) Can I ask you to clarify it somewhat? I'm probably still half asleep (LOL), but I'm not sure I'm getting how this relates to my answer?
    – Monomeeth
    Oct 17, 2019 at 22:47
  • @Monomeeth For me it's clear: you propose to install an alternative browser to possibly get a newer WebKit, but according to Apple requirements it doesn't seem possible.
    – Jean Paul
    Jan 24, 2021 at 19:15

I just tried Dolphin on my Mom’s 4th-generation iPad, iOS 10.3.3, and Dolphin was able to open Facebook, which has just started marking Safari as “unsupported” and limiting what was searchable.

I have yet to see how it does with AOL mail, which has recently been problematic through the Mail icon in the dock (requiring a special AOL-generated password), but had been O.K. on Safari (though what used to appear as the desktop version when going through Safari also changed recently). Just checked; it has the new iPad look, but was able to get current mail, which the Mail program was not.

Thanks for helping keep Mom’s iPad useful; hope our experiences help others!

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