Google branching away from WebKit, could affect iOS

Google branching away from WebKit, could affect iOS
Google made a pretty interesting announcement today that could have bigger consequences than it first seems. The basic news is that Google announced it will be branching off of WebKit to support its own browser rendering engine, called Blink. This should make Chromium development much easier overall, but it could end up causing trouble for iOS.

The reasoning behind the move according to Google is that it is too much work to deal with WebKit, which has a ton of code that is used to support WebKit 2, which is used by Apple for Safari, but isn't used by Chrome. The move will allow Google to move faster with Chrome development by making it less complex. Opera, which recently announced it was switching its browser engine to WebKit, has said that it will follow Google's branch and support Blink. 

Of course, this will make no real difference on desktops or on Android. The issue is iOS, where section 2.17 of Appleā€™s App Store Review Guidelines states that "apps that browse the web must use the iOS WebKit framework and WebKit Javascript." Since Blink is a fork, it is no longer technically WebKit, which could cause problems for both Chrome and Opera Mini for iOS. Google and Opera will have to choose to either remove the apps from the App Store, continue development, or abandon the apps to future updates. 

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10 Comments

1. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

I don't know what Google or Opera will do, but hopefully they'll find a solution because no updates = upset users.

4. cheetah2k

Posts: 2293; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

Cease development for the iOS platform..?? I understand that Google Maps also uses webkit code for map viewing and interaction... The knock on effect could be more wide spread than first thought.

7. TechBizJP08

Posts: 495; Member since: Mar 25, 2013

iOS will only use one browser. And that's Safari.

10. bloodline

Posts: 706; Member since: Dec 01, 2011

Apple wont give two s**ts, it doesnt care about the user it only cares about the user using its products

2. DigitalBoy05

Posts: 279; Member since: Jun 04, 2011

It sucks but then again think of it this way... how many apple apps are on android? 0. Google needs to worry about its own ecosystem and if there is supported overlap then go nuts. Customers are buying not only a phone, but a ecosystem when they make their purchasing decisions. I wasn't holding my breath waiting for Chrome when I had my iPhone4s just like I'm not holding my breath waiting for Safari or iLife to come to my Android.

9. E.N.

Posts: 2610; Member since: Jan 25, 2009

At the end of the day, if Google still feels it needs to develop for iPhone then it will continue to do so, which I am confident they will. iOS is just too big a market/platform.

3. ZeroCide

Posts: 816; Member since: Jan 09, 2013

Good webkit is junk. Who cares about apple. They modify the webkit like crazy anyways and call it safari.

6. thelegend6657 unregistered

WebKit is actually really good. Take desktop chrome for example , the best Browser for windows . Of course WebKit based Safari on Mac wasn't far behind. Non WebKit based internet explorer sucks ass

5. rusticguy

Posts: 2828; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

So one more WEB DESIGNERS HEADACHE to deal with :(

11. Hemlocke unregistered

Amen, brother.

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