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Google branching away from WebKit, could affect iOS

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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posted on 03 Apr 2013, 20:43

1. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10457; Member since: 14 May 2012)

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

posted on 03 Apr 2013, 21:16 1

4. cheetah2k (Posts: 1746; Member since: 16 Jan 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.

posted on 04 Apr 2013, 01:57 2

7. TechBizJP08 (Posts: 495; Member since: 25 Mar 2013)

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

posted on 04 Apr 2013, 07:06 1

10. bloodline (Posts: 706; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)

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

posted on 03 Apr 2013, 21:09 4

2. DigitalBoy05 (Posts: 234; Member since: 04 Jun 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.

posted on 04 Apr 2013, 06:30

9. E.N. (Posts: 2610; Member since: 25 Jan 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.

posted on 03 Apr 2013, 21:15 9

3. ZeroCide (Posts: 785; Member since: 09 Jan 2013)

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

posted on 03 Apr 2013, 22:12

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

posted on 04 Apr 2013, 02:02

8. Leo_MC (Posts: 2693; Member since: 02 Dec 2011)

Chrome for PC can't be used for business purposes (especially Oracle databases), doesn't have a functional adblock, it has problems with rendering flash content.
It's ok for home users but that's it.

posted on 03 Apr 2013, 22:00 6

5. rusticguy (Posts: 2828; Member since: 11 Aug 2012)

So one more WEB DESIGNERS HEADACHE to deal with :(

posted on 04 Apr 2013, 18:14

11. Hemlocke (unregistered)

Amen, brother.

posted on 06 Apr 2013, 11:26

12. lyndon420 (Posts: 5003; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)

Remove everything Google from ios. They don't appreciate Google anyway.

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