June 19, 2012

Android: fix the Android 2.x CSS transform bug with translate3d() and scale()

There's a serious bug with the use of the CSS3 transform property in Android's webkit browser, specifically in Android versions 2.2 and 2.3. The problem is that the scale() property is discarded in the presence of translate3d() (and other applicable transform properties). I can confirm it doesn't happen in 2.1, and I'm not seeing it consistently in all versions/devices with 2.3.x. The bug is officially documented here. There is a workaround, unfortunate as the bug is, which is to separately apply the translate3d() property to an outer element, and scale() to an inner element, like so:

<div class="outer">
  <div class="inner"></div>
.outer {
  transform: translate3d(100px, 100px, 0px)
  -webkit-transform: translate3d(100px, 100px, 0px)
  /* add other vendor prefixes so all browsers handle your hack */

.inner {
  transform: scale(5)
  /* add vendor-prefixed property again */
This doesn't work with scale() on the outer element, and translate3d() on the inner element, for what it's worth.