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Google branching away from WebKit, could affect iOS

Posted: , posted by Michael H.

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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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