Room Webpage Not Loading (Spinning) on iPhones

Greetings. We have been hosting weekly watch parties for three weeks now, and a recurring problem has surfaced. Users with iPhones report the W2G watch party room will not load 4 out of 5 attempts; all that displays is a spinning wheel on the room’s page. The title of the page is properly displayed at the top, just nothing appears on the screen except a gray box and a spinning wheel. Laptops get into the room fine, and iPads are about a 50-50 success rate, but iPhones are problematic.

We have also been able to diagnose that it is worse when there are more people in the room, as there is intermittent success in joining the room on an iPhone when only a few people are in the room. Nobody on an iPhone has ever been able to get in when there are 10+ people in the room. I checked, and all of the iPhone users are using Safari 13. I asked those users to also download Chrome mobile and Firefox mobile, and the spinning wheel page load issue persists on an iPhone even using Chrome or Firefox.

Any suggestions? Is this a known issue? Thanks in advance for your help!

Thanks a lot for your feedback. Where are the users with iPhones located? And how many users do you have in your room?

North of Seattle, in Snohomish County, Washington, USA. We have 15-20 users in the room usually. We had 15 tonight.

Thanks Jim, I just tried to reproduce this but so far i was always able to join my test room using an iPhone with Safari 13. Do you know if the iPhone users see the green “Join the Room” button before they enter the room? Does it make a difference when the iPhone users switch between mobile and wifi network?

Hi Florian - I have requested this information from those who were having difficulties, and will post a reply in about a week’s time, as our next watch party is Friday. I am also gathering info on the type of hardware and OS others are using with or without success. I’ll be in touch.

Thanks Jim, looking forward for the details!

Hi Florian - here is the feedback from users on the watch party room these past two weeks:

  • Two Apple iPhone users experienced the grayed-out screen and spinning wheel, and reported seeing the green “Join the Room” banner before they enter the room. Both were using Safari 13, and one was on an iPhone 8 and one on an iPhone 6+. Once inside, it did not make a difference if they switched between mobile and wi-fi to resolve the grayed-out boxes and spinning wheel issue; it was present either way, and both are on FIOS high-speed internet with large bandwidth plans. That said, if they continued trying to join repeatedly by refreshing/re-joining, the iPhone 6+ user was able to get in eventually, while the iPhone 8 user had no luck and ended-up switching to their iPad. At least three other iPhone users (one second-gen iPhone SE user and two first-gen iPhone SE users, all on Safari 13) reported no issues, other than the page being difficult to navigate on their iPhone (see next bulletpoint).

  • Several users on Apple iPhones complained that the watch party room is not optimized for viewing on small phone screens. For example, on the iPhone SE (4-inch screens), a person cannot see the playlist at the bottom of the screen, as it does not optimize/re-size to display the whole room, pinching the screen does not make it smaller, and scrolling in any direction only moves some of the boxes on the screen. On larger screens, like iPhones 6+, XR, and 11 (6-inch screens), the room is still not optimized, but the increased screen size allows sections of the screen to at least be viewable.

  • One user on an Apple iPad using “Google App 13” (iOS 13.6) could only see the watch party room layout, but boxes were grayed-out and the wheel just spun on loading. They are on satellite broadband and acknowledge it could be their wi-fi service.

  • Two users on Android phones using Chrome, and another user on a Chromebook using Chrome, reported videos not auto-playing each time the video switches on the playlist. As such, they need to manually hit the play button after every video starts.

  • Users on a laptop or desktop computer (running Chrome, Edge, Firefox, and Safari) reported little to no issues across Windows, Apple, and Linux OS; however, one user on a Windows desktop using Edge occasionally had videos not start automatically playing when switching videos in the playlist while in full screen, requiring them to manually hit the play button.

There is the feedback that I gathered thus far. Please let me know if you have any suggestions or need me to gather any more info or test anything else. Thanks for your help! -Jim

Hi Jim,

thanks a lot for your feedback. I’ll send you a test link in PM.