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Google working on Chrome Web browser for iOS - report

post #1 of 54
Thread Starter 
Google is said to be planning to compete with Apple's own Safari by releasing a version of its Chrome Web browser for iOS devices.

The launch of Chrome for iOS on the App Store could be as soon as this quarter, according to Macquarie Equities Research (via GigaOm). Its debut is seen as igniting a modern browser war on mobile devices, similar to the "Browser Wars" of the late 1990s between Internet Explorer and Netscape.

All third-party browsers for iOS must be based on WebKit, Apple's open source browser engine. The existing versions of Google Chrome, available for Mac, Windows and Android, are already based on the WebKit layout engine.

Macquarie analyst Ben Schachter said Chrome for PCs has been a "home run" for Google, as it has "significantly" reduced desktop traffic acquisition costs for the search giant.

He expects that Google will launch a major marketing campaign to hype the debut of Chrome for iOS. The company has run television spots promoting Chrome for desktops for some time, featuring celebrities like Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber, helping its advertising budget quadruple in the U.S. last year to $213 million.

Chrome


Google's own Android operating system ships with a generic browser, but the company released a mobile version of Chrome for its Google Play application store in February. The free software remains in beta, but is well reviewed.

Third-party browsers first began appearing on the Apple-controlled iOS App Store in early 2009. Prior to that, browsers that would rival Apple's own Safari were rejected from the App Store.
post #2 of 54

In using only Safari and Chrome on my Mac/PC, it would definitely be a plus to have Chrome available on iOS.

post #3 of 54
Quote:
... as it has "significantly" reduced desktop traffic acquisition costs for the search giant"

 

 

Sorry for my ignorance, but what does this mean?    

post #4 of 54

Sure Chrome is based on WebKit as a rendering engine, but it differs by its JavaScript engine: Safari uses Nitro whereas Google developed their own V8.

It will be interesting to see what they're allowed to do here.

 

Also, in the current state of iOS it will not be possible for Chrome to be set as the default browser (unless maybe if you've got a jailbroken phone but that's not what I'm referring to).

post #5 of 54

Google Chrome for Android is the best mobile browser I have used, I'll be impressed if they can recreate the same level of awesomeness for iOS.

The one thing I would love is if they can make testing sites on iOS devices easier, then I only need to test for one browser and require all mobiles in my workplace to install Chrome, what a wonderfully simplified workplace that would be (no I can't have everyone use Android we believe in choice of device, I just don't want to provide staff with a choice of browser because I am lazy).

post #6 of 54
Chrone, Thank you but no thanks.
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post #7 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post

 

 

Sorry for my ignorance, but what does this mean?    

 

I believe it means, Google pays $$$ to other companies to have their search engine as the default. Eg. they pay Apple and Firefox so that Google is the default. With the Chrome browser, they don't have to pay anybody to make Google the default search engine.

 

Cheers!

post #8 of 54

Chrome is the best browser around, and it would be nice to able to use Chrome bookmark sync on my iPhone.

 

That said, google's GMail iOS app was truly awful.

post #9 of 54

I'm an Apple nut.  Macbook, iPhone, iPad, iPod Nano, Extreme router, Apple TV...

 

And I'll be the first to admit.  Gmail & Chrome browser are two of the best experiences you can use in their selective catergories.  Ive simply found nothing better than those two for email or web browsing.  That said, the Google Gmail & Google+ app are both big dissapointments considering what they could be.  Doesnt leave me much hope for the Chrome browser.  But just having the bookmark sync & autofill preferences from Chrome available on my iPhone would make me an instant iOS Chrome user.

post #10 of 54

The more 3rd party software to choose from the better. Especially since Apple doesn't seem to care about their pro users anymore. 

post #11 of 54

Chrome is the best browser to use on a pc but on a mac its sux badly, far too heavy on cpu and given the lack of respect Google have for peoples privacy I think I'll pass on chrome for iOS

post #12 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

All third-party browsers for iOS must be based on WebKit, Apple's open source browser engine.

Is this true? What about Opera... I didn't think that was webkit.
post #13 of 54

I wouldn't install that snooping device on my phone if I was paid.

post #14 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by realwarder View Post


Is this true? What about Opera... I didn't think that was webkit.

Opera takes your request, renders it on their end and then sends the results back to you.  

post #15 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by kotatsu View Post

 

That said, google's GMail iOS app was truly awful.

Why? Say more?

post #16 of 54

The article is factually wrong. It is not that "all browsers must use WebKit". In order to comply with Apple's App Store rules, all apps must use the built-in WebView API, which does use WebKit, but it uses Apple's supplied WebKit, not your own. If you want to run Javascript, then you must use the engine supplied by Apple too, not your own.

 

The best Google can do, unless App Store rules change, is provide a fancy wrapper around the things Apple already provides today. I'm not saying that adds no value - for example, you could get synchronization with your Google account. But a full-fledged browser port it is not.

post #17 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by jawporta View Post

The more 3rd party software to choose from the better. Especially since Apple doesn't seem to care about their pro users anymore. 

 

This assumption is based on what? No new Mac Pros? Well, they are not releasing new Mac Pro's because Intel hasn't updated the MacPro-speced CPU range yet.

 

And it's not "pro" users that buy those, it's cpu-power-hungry users, which is different.

 

A pro mac user is someone who does professional work with a Mac. The majority of those users tend to buy laptops and iMacs, not Mac Pros.

 

Except if you only consider the niche Graphic Design, Video and Audio markets as "pro", which I find absurd.

 

A doctor with a Mac is far more "pro" than some graphic designer that makes $30,000 a year. Same for a developer (a large fraction of which buys Mac laptops as evident in any programming conference, including Linus Torvalds and his MacBook Air), a businessman, a lawyer, etc etc.

 

But even if you only consider those two creative markets as "pro", they Apple just spent millions to rewrite Final Cut Pro X, and delivering 2-3 updates in very short term. They also work on Logic Pro 10, about to be released this year, and have made tons of updates to version 9 already, not only for bugfixing but also for major new features (64-bit compatibility, to name one).

post #18 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by foljs View Post

 

This assumption is based on what? No new Mac Pros? Well, they are not releasing new Mac Pro's because Intel hasn't updated the MacPro-speced CPU range yet.

 

And it's not "pro" users that buy those, it's cpu-power-hungry users, which is different.

 

A pro mac user is someone who does professional work with a Mac. The majority of those users tend to buy laptops and iMacs, not Mac Pros.

 

Except if you only consider the niche Graphic Design, Video and Audio markets as "pro", which I find absurd.

 

A doctor with a Mac is far more "pro" than some graphic designer that makes $30,000 a year. Same for a developer (a large fraction of which buys Mac laptops as evident in any programming conference, including Linus Torvalds and his MacBook Air), a businessman, a lawyer, etc etc.

 

But even if you only consider those two creative markets as "pro", they Apple just spent millions to rewrite Final Cut Pro X, and delivering 2-3 updates in very short term. They also work on Logic Pro 10, about to be released this year, and have made tons of updates to version 9 already, not only for bugfixing but also for major new features (64-bit compatibility, to name one).

Intel doesnt upgrade the Mac Pro spec's.  Apple does

post #19 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Just_Me View Post
Intel doesnt upgrade the Mac Pro spec's.  Apple does

 

This is sort of a chicken and egg problem. Of course Intel upgrades the specs, it's just up to Apple to push these upgrades out.

 

And to correct foljs' post, Intel released Sandy Bridge Xeons last month. We're not waiting for them anymore. We're waiting for Apple. 

post #20 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post

 

 

Sorry for my ignorance, but what does this mean?    

It means that for Google, you are the product for sale, and Chrome has helped them obtain that product at lower cost.

post #21 of 54
iCab Mobile shits on anything Google could possibly offer.
post #22 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

This is sort of a chicken and egg problem. Of course Intel upgrades the specs, it's just up to Apple to push these upgrades out.

 

And to correct foljs' post, Intel released Sandy Bridge Xeons last month. We're not waiting for them anymore. We're waiting for Apple. 

 

No its not.  If there were not anything better no one would complain about apple not refreshing the mac pro line.  There has been plenty of other faster cpus Apple could have put on the mac pro like the 10 core westmere which has been out for almost 2 years vs their current offering of 6 core. There are also quad socket motherboards apple could use but again its apple who has lagged behind.

post #23 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Just_Me View Post
No its not.  If there were not anything better no one would complain about apple not refreshing the mac pro line.  There has been plenty of other faster cpus Apple could have put on the mac pro like the 10 core westmere which has been out for almost 2 years vs their current offering of 6 core. There are also quad socket motherboards apple could use but again its apple who has lagged behind.

 

Neither of those are solutions, and the latter isn't even physically possible for the Mac Pro without an entirely different case.

post #24 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

Neither of those are solutions, and the latter isn't even physically possible for the Mac Pro without an entirely different case.

10 core cpu westmere is a solution. Its a drop in upgrade. New case = a refresh of the pro line.

post #25 of 54

what if they start antitrust process just like they did with windows and their IE bundled with OS..

 

Apple may be forced to open up IOS for different browsers, based on different solutions ..

post #26 of 54

Apple will reject it. It's one thing to let a little company like Opera in, but with Google it won't just be a web browser.

 

It will start out as a web browser, then provide an enhanced experience for Google's own sites, eventually becoming an entire platform intended for people to spend all their time in and ignore the rest of the iPad.

 

There is no way it gets approved.

post #27 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Just_Me View Post
10 core cpu westmere is a solution. Its a drop in upgrade. New case = a refresh of the pro line.


Yeah, and computers starting at $5,000. Apple has never used the four-chip line of processors.

post #28 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

Apple will reject it. It's one thing to let a little company like Opera in, but with Google it won't just be a web browser.

 

It will start out as a web browser, then provide an enhanced experience for Google's own sites, eventually becoming an entire platform intended for people to spend all their time in and ignore the rest of the iPad.

 

There is no way it gets approved.

 

Do you realize there are 13 different apps created by Google already on the App Store including apps that directly compete with Apple apps?

post #29 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


Yeah, and computers starting at $5,000. Apple has never used the four-chip line of processors.

Its a pro line for a reason.

post #30 of 54

I'm all for this. You can't change the default browser anyway, so very few people will use this regularly, but at least there will be another strong option. 

post #31 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacBook Pro View Post

 

Do you realize there are 13 different apps created by Google already on the App Store including apps that directly compete with Apple apps?

Are they single-purpose apps or entire platforms? There are rules against platforms in the submission guidelines, and the danger of letting other company's platforms on your device was one of the points Steve raised in his open letter about why Flash was being disallowed on iOS.

post #32 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Just_Me View Post
Its a pro line for a reason.

 

And those chips have nothing to do with pros. The Mac Pro is a workstation computer, and it uses workstation chips. You're talking about <0.001% use chips that go in servers.

 

The easiest way to kill the Mac Pro is to put the four-chip line in it. People want a cheaper tower. Not a tower that costs twice as much as the Mac Pro now.

post #33 of 54
Thanks Google, but no thanks. I'm content with Safari for the time being.
post #34 of 54

Unless you can make it the default browser which Apple seems to be way too restrictive on I don't see it gaining much attraction.  I will still use it mainly for it's syncing functions but until I can click on a link in an email on the iphone and have it launch google's browser I don't see it hitting critical mass.

 

Hmmm..  now that I think about it I see a feature that google could add so that it would make at least urls in gmail emails load in their browser.  Just have googles servers rewrite http links in emails that are downloaded through the iOS mail app so that it references their prefix that they have chosen.  chrome://www.someurl.com.  Other apps already use a special prefix so that they can be launched from an url like ssh, VNC, etc.

post #35 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

And those chips have nothing to do with pros. The Mac Pro is a workstation computer, and it uses workstation chips. You're talking about <0.001% use chips that go in servers.

 

The easiest way to kill the Mac Pro is to put the four-chip line in it. People want a cheaper tower. Not a tower that costs twice as much as the Mac Pro now.

"Pro" and "Workstation" are all just marketing terms. Doesnt matter what cpu you use. Faster options will cost more.  Mac Pros already cost $5K on the high end

post #36 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Just_Me View Post
"Pro" and "Workstation" are all just marketing terms. Doesnt matter what cpu you use. Faster options will cost more.  Mac Pros already cost $5K on the high end

 

And they will be costing $5,000 on the low end if you move to the four-chip system. It's not happening.

post #37 of 54
Quote:
A doctor with a Mac is far more "pro" than some graphic designer that makes $30,000 a year. Same for a developer (a large fraction of which buys Mac laptops as evident in any programming conference, including Linus Torvalds and his MacBook Air), a businessman, a lawyer, etc etc.

 

 

 

Are you saying someone who makes more money than you is more of a mac pro user? I work with lots of doctors and lawyers who don't know there ass from their elbow when it comes to computers. Final Cut "Pro" "Pro" tools users need a machine with more options than an all-in-one.

post #38 of 54
It is the best browser around if you like poor java integration, and it calling home every few minutes (according to Little Snitch). No thanks. Safari could improve by copying Google's Tabs on Top and integrated address/ search bar. Safari, however, is better integrated with OSX then Chrome. Java, HTML, Gestures, Quicktime, and PDF support is better in Safari. Still, I'd really miss when Safari had the the tabs on top.

I honestly prefer Firefox over Chrome. I use to hate Firefox, but it has greatly improved. Since both my step dad and my Gmail accounts have been hacked, I ditched that too. I send only spam there. I use my iCloud account for wanted email.
Quote:
Originally Posted by kotatsu View Post

Chrome is the best browser around, and it would be nice to able to use Chrome bookmark sync on my iPhone.

That said, google's GMail iOS app was truly awful.
post #39 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenjah5321 View Post
Are you saying someone who makes more money than you is more of a mac pro user?

 

You talking to me? I hope not. I don't want to have to teach you why you're wrong about this in relation to what I'm saying.

 

Quote:
Final Cut "Pro" "Pro" tools users need a machine with more options than an all-in-one.

 

Well, yeah. That's not in question. Though your attempt at calling FCPX not professional software is infantile.

post #40 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Why? Say more?

 

It's basically a web page packaged as an app, so it's slow, clunky, and has none of the fluidity you'd expect from an app. It renders wider emails very badly on the tiny iPhone screen, it doesn't support iOS 5's notification centre properly, and it crashes regularly. 

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