Google open-sources Chrome browser for Apple's iOS, promises faster development

Posted:
in iPhone
Google on Tuesday announced that the iOS version of Chrome is now open-source, something which could potentially aid developers and accelerate official releases of the browser.




Chrome for iOS was previously kept separate from the rest of the Chromium project because like other iOS browsers, Apple requires it to use the same WebKit rendering engine found in Safari, according to a blog post. On other platforms Chrome relies a different engine, called Blink.

Supporting both engines "created some extra complexities" that the Chromium team wanted to avoid in the code base. In the past few years however the team has made unspecified changes, and the iOS version is now in the open-source respository, available for compiling.

iOS development for Chrome is expected to go faster because tests are now available to the whole Chromium community, and should run automatically any time code is checked in.

Chrome remains one of the most popular downloads on the App Store, despite Safari being built into iOS. That may be attributable to Chrome working across several platforms -- Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and ChromeOS -- and syncing bookmarks, histories, and preferences.

Only parts of Safari -- such as WebKit -- are open-source, and the browser is limited to iOS and macOS. A Windows version did exist, but updates stopped after May 2012.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,244member
    Browser wars. What year is it?
  • Reply 2 of 11
    I had rather liked the Windows version of Safari, despite what detractors say. I used it while working at a Windows-only client site, and it was great to have my stuff synced. Reader mode was awesome. 
    watto_cobraargonaut
  • Reply 3 of 11
    I dislike Chrome. Haven't used it in years. It is a system resource and bandwidth hog. 

    I actually liked iCab enough to pay for the browser. It is a very nice app and far nicer than Chrome with better speed and customizability. 

    I have Chrome where I work, but use it only as a last resort as my machine bogs down substantially. As soon as I am finished with the browser, I close it immediately. If I happen to forget, I am usually forced to use the Windows task manager to kill the process. 

    I could care less about syncing the bookmarks, etc. If I need them, I will just VPN to my home machine from my iPhone and access safari directly. 

    Staying off of Chrome has another huge advantage. Google is unable to profile my browsing habits. 
    john.bwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 11
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,019member
    I dislike Chrome. Haven't used it in years. It is a system resource and bandwidth hog. 

    I actually liked iCab enough to pay for the browser. It is a very nice app and far nicer than Chrome with better speed and customizability. 

    I have Chrome where I work, but use it only as a last resort as my machine bogs down substantially. As soon as I am finished with the browser, I close it immediately. If I happen to forget, I am usually forced to use the Windows task manager to kill the process. 

    I could care less about syncing the bookmarks, etc. If I need them, I will just VPN to my home machine from my iPhone and access safari directly. 

    Staying off of Chrome has another huge advantage. Google is unable to profile my browsing habits. 
    For those times you're forced to use it:
    https://support.google.com/chrome/answer/114836?co=GENIE.Platform=Desktop&hl=en

    There's also Incognito Mode. Click on the three dots in the upper corner to access it.
  • Reply 5 of 11
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,703member
    eightzero said:
    Browser wars. What year is it?
    It’s more about data collection and analysis than a browser war I think. Getting people to use your browser gives you an advantage, especially Google. Of course there’s a certain cadre that will always prefer any third party browser over Safari just to keep up the illusion of superiority. Trashing Apple software is in vogue these days.
    john.bStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 11
    Since Chrone is another extension of Google's information gathering/advertising/selling arm, I will opt out of this product too.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 11
    I only use chrome when my safari refuses to let me sign into youtube. anybody have that?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 11
    Safari the best 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 11
    gatorguy said:
    I dislike Chrome. Haven't used it in years. It is a system resource and bandwidth hog. 

    I actually liked iCab enough to pay for the browser. It is a very nice app and far nicer than Chrome with better speed and customizability. 

    I have Chrome where I work, but use it only as a last resort as my machine bogs down substantially. As soon as I am finished with the browser, I close it immediately. If I happen to forget, I am usually forced to use the Windows task manager to kill the process. 

    I could care less about syncing the bookmarks, etc. If I need them, I will just VPN to my home machine from my iPhone and access safari directly. 

    Staying off of Chrome has another huge advantage. Google is unable to profile my browsing habits. 
    For those times you're forced to use it:
    https://support.google.com/chrome/answer/114836?co=GENIE.Platform=Desktop&hl=en

    There's also Incognito Mode. Click on the three dots in the upper corner to access it.
    I appreciate the attempt at providing assistance, but changing the privacy settings for the browser never made any difference regarding the browser taking up greater and greater amounts of system ram. The browser was always constantly using bandwidth also. 

    It was just easier to delete the browser all together. Especially with all of the other nicer options for the Mac. I use safari mostly with Firefox as a backup. On iOS I use iCab with Safari as the backup. My employer allows two browsers, Internet Explorer and Chrome. After opening and forgetting to shut Chrome down on a couple of occasions, I remembered why I had developed an intense dislike for the browser. 

    I never thought I would ever say it, but IE is better than Chrome. And this one doesn't pertain to browsers, but Bing itself has become a better search engine also. Try typing in the name of a physician in each browser page. Bing returns the relevant results at the top and in large format. Very nice. Google returns the results from a bunch of physician rating firms. NOT useful. Wait until the general public figures that one out. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 11
    sergiozsergioz Posts: 221member
    I think Chrome is very innovative and fast broweser, but lacks many features that I am used to on Safari. What made me look at Chrome was speed and many new HTML 5 features. But since I installed AdGuard on both Mac & iOS devices I am back to shredding through webpages at the click of a mouse. OpenDNS helps loading pages faster too! 
  • Reply 11 of 11
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,019member
    gatorguy said:
    I dislike Chrome. Haven't used it in years. It is a system resource and bandwidth hog. 

    I actually liked iCab enough to pay for the browser. It is a very nice app and far nicer than Chrome with better speed and customizability. 

    I have Chrome where I work, but use it only as a last resort as my machine bogs down substantially. As soon as I am finished with the browser, I close it immediately. If I happen to forget, I am usually forced to use the Windows task manager to kill the process. 

    I could care less about syncing the bookmarks, etc. If I need them, I will just VPN to my home machine from my iPhone and access safari directly. 

    Staying off of Chrome has another huge advantage. Google is unable to profile my browsing habits. 
    For those times you're forced to use it:
    https://support.google.com/chrome/answer/114836?co=GENIE.Platform=Desktop&hl=en

    There's also Incognito Mode. Click on the three dots in the upper corner to access it.
    I appreciate the attempt at providing assistance, but changing the privacy settings for the browser never made any difference regarding the browser taking up greater and greater amounts of system ram. The browser was always constantly using bandwidth also. 

    It was just easier to delete the browser all together. Especially with all of the other nicer options for the Mac. I use safari mostly with Firefox as a backup. On iOS I use iCab with Safari as the backup. My employer allows two browsers, Internet Explorer and Chrome. After opening and forgetting to shut Chrome down on a couple of occasions, I remembered why I had developed an intense dislike for the browser. 

    I never thought I would ever say it, but IE is better than Chrome. And this one doesn't pertain to browsers, but Bing itself has become a better search engine also. Try typing in the name of a physician in each browser page. Bing returns the relevant results at the top and in large format. Very nice. Google returns the results from a bunch of physician rating firms. NOT useful. Wait until the general public figures that one out. 
    FWIW I get the same results on both by searching simply searching a local doctor's name and no more. Top o'the page result in Google is a map showing where he is and listing the phone# and hours he works with along with a link to requesting his website. It also tells whether there are any reviews from his patients.  Bing does that as well, plus offers a advertising link to Doctors.com and to Vitals. No idea about your personal search results. 

    Only thing that does surprise me since you brought it up. We always think of Google as an advertising company. But unlike the top Bing search result that includes two referral/ad links the Google result doesn't, no ad link at all in the top result. Not what I would have thought. I rarely use Bing but I'll try to remember to pay attention to how they do ads on those occasions I do. With that said I think you'll find Bing tracks you in much the same way as Chrome. By the way it is nice to see Microsoft now has a Privacy Dashboard along the lines of Google's where you can delete/change profile data, view histories and generally control, modify, or opt out of various services connected to your profile.

    Here's another tip too: Did you know Chrome allows you to control your privacy on a per-site basis, restricting the amount of information that flows between you and any particular web-page? Betcha didn't, but here's an article that explains how and what all the options are, and how they affect your personal privacy.
    http://www.androidcentral.com/control-privacy-settings-any-web-page-easy-shortcut-chrome
    edited February 2017
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