Add to Calendar on an iPhone - fails to load

Published  May 5th, 2021  by Michael Nilsson

In some cases, your users might report to you that their "Add to Calendar" functionality isn't working as expected on the Apple device. 

On iOS, Apple offers developers a Chromeless browser to embed into their iOS apps. There are two browser types on iOS - the one Apple is using in their Safari browser, and one other can use. Depending on how good "friends" the companies are with Apple, they allow them to use their "good" browser. For instance, Twitter is using the "good" browser, Google Chrome and similar apps are not.

The other browser (the one used by many apps like Office 365, Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Google Chrome, etc.) is stripped from all default functionality. That means when your users try to add the event to their calendar, they start downloading an event file, and then nothing happens. The normal behavior would be that it invoked the default calendar app and added the event to the calendar. Unfortunately, that's not possible with the Chromeless browser.

In order to work around this issue, we're subscribing the user to the event instead. That works in most cases. It's not "pretty", but it's our effort to make it work. We only try to subscribe to the event in case we can detect the Chromeless browser. And in order to let the users know, we show an initial message/warning "If this event fails to load, please "Open the page in Safari."

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