back to article German developers forge Iron from Chrome

German developers had developed a cut-down version of Chrome that doesn't send usage data back to the Google mothership. Iron is aimed at punters who like Chrome's fast JavaScript engine but baulk at the search giant's policies for collecting usage data. SRWare forged Iron by taking out all the features privacy-sensitive …


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  1. Zippy's Sausage Factory

    Market share? Maybe more than you think

    Iron seems to be all over teh Intarweb already. Download Squad, Incomplete News - hell even I've blogged about it already and my blog is more or less only updated when there's a blue moon!

    Skull and crossbones to cheer myself up for missing Talk Like A Pirate Day :-)

  2. Thomas Davie


    Users could just use recent WebKit nightlies featuring Squirrelfish Extreme, which is both faster than V8 (see sunspider, or dromeao tests, it loses slightly in V8's own benchmarks, but it's very tight), and more accurate (see Acid 3 passing, and even passing the timing test now).

    Mine's the yellow one with reflective bits hanging on the big red truck.

  3. Paul

    Iron is heavier than Chrome!

    Surely a lightweight version of Chrome (element 24) should not be called Iron (the heavier element 26)! A better name would be Vanadium (element 23), or Titanium (element 22)!

  4. Ash
    Thumb Up

    Well done!

    I will now try out this browser.

    Let's hope that Iron gets more market share than Chrome.

  5. John Robson Silver badge


    Is actually quite nice - I might go and see how well iron fares.

  6. Phil Hare
    Black Helicopters

    Depends on what you want

    The failing with Chromes "incognito" mode was the possibility that usage data was still going back to Google. Not so with Iron. It means that there is now a method of browsing the web that, in theory, is private both locally and server side.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Oh Crap I've just un-installed myself...

    Used Chrome to browse and download Iron.

    Getting worried about some sort of backwards feedback loop. Or should that be forwards feedback? Gosh I'm losing it!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hmm, OK, I'll bite

    Soon as there's a Linux version.

    Oh, actually, Thomas Davie has the solution.

  9. David S
    Thumb Up

    I've been using Chrome for a while now...

    ...and I've gotten used to its nippiness to the expent that using IE, Opera or FF has become a painful, frustrating experience of waiting, and waiting, and waiting...

    Iron sounds interesting as well. Has anyone checked through its source code yet to make sure it won't be skimming my credit card details and sending them to somebody even less trustworthy than Google? Anyone trustworthy, I mean? Can someone vouch for them, too?

    Oh, and Paul has a point. Iron? No! Titanium ftw!

  10. Harry Stottle

    Tried it

    doesn't work in Sandboxie. Binned it...

  11. Corporate Scum

    Better just go Opera then...

    "However, it's difficult to imagine that Iron will pick up much market share, and people unimpressed with the idea of handing over yet more data to the world's biggest ad broker are more likely to turn to Firefox or Opera instead..."

    Am I the only one who noticed that Firefox already sends a ton of info to Google? Even if you set it to use another search provider, it by default send searck keywords to a Google url and it also prescans each url by bouncing it off a Google url for the "Malware" check.

    Not a real suprise that a ton of the funding for the 'zilla foundation came from the google plex. Some of these features can't even be readily disabled through about:config, and most have dissapeared from the GUI.

  12. TJ
    Thumb Up

    Chrome Fan

    I like Chrome a lot. It simply works. As for the Usage data, I guess I honestly don't care. I might look into Iron, but Chrome makes me smile. now just leave it alone and dont add any damn "improvements"

  13. Graham Lockley

    Ok I will bite on this

    gave up on Chrome when I coudnt stop GoogleUpdater from loading ( deleted the bugger, that eventually stopped it). Will try this out of curiosity.

    As to those complaining about Iron, its German FFS of course its going to be Iron (or Steel).

  14. K
    Paris Hilton

    re: However, it's difficult to imagine that Iron will pick up much market share

    I find that remark offensive and very biased against both Iron and Chrome.

    Perhaps you are correct about the immediate prospects, but Chrome is in the very early stages of development - yet it already suppassed both IE and Firefox in speed and stability, If Google stick with the current Chrome philosophy but add the features such as a Plugin API...

    Paris, because like Chrome, she doesn't have much up top, but shes tight and knows how to move.

  15. heystoopid
    Paris Hilton

    Who needs more spyware

    Who needs more spyware anyway , with Spybot reporting more than 285K variants of those pesky critters , less is best .

    Interestingly on digg recently , which in an election year the cynical normal users(50% are non US based ) truly beat up those silly nonsensical dingbat republican supporters who post their brain dead political comments by shooting down all the bats in their crazy version of the bellfry and more , one web test actually gave the edge to Opera . But all browsers have their plus and negative points and none are absolutely perfect although Opera 9.52 is nice with it's built in Bit Torrent Function as a bonus extra .

    Note to Google "less is best !" .

  16. Hud Dunlap
    Jobs Horns

    Lets see Iron for the Mac

    I am not happy with firefox. As Corporate Scum pointed out it still sends a lot of information back to google. And the regulars all know about Safari.

  17. F Seiler


    @Paul and David S

    IIRC Iron is by far the most widespread metal in the universe tho.

    I agree Titanium sounds way cooler, but usually the software with cool names sucks and it's the boring looking, boring sounding stuff that is actually useful.

  18. Billy

    I call shenanigans!!

    Am I the only one who thinks David S works for Google?

  19. Hegelworm Messerchmitt

    English too

    Just to add that you can browse the SRWare site in English too - just click the little merkin flag icon in the top right.

    Here's the URL to the English download page:


  20. Dan Silver badge

    @Phil Hare

    "It means that there is now a method of browsing the web that, in theory, is private both locally and server side."

    I think that option already existed with IE, Firefox, Opera, and Safari.

  21. stizzleswick

    And in other news...

    ...there is a big bunch of quick browsers which don't send data home to either Google and/or M$. Honestly, in these heady days of broadband internet connectivity and (compared to the beginnings of the www) outright ridiculous processing power supply on the desktop, the speed of the browser is a pretty secondary factor of the overall experience. I mean, does it really matter whether the page takes 15 or 17 milliseconds to appear on the screen? I'd rather have a standards-compliant browser that handles HTML, XHTML and XML properly. Which, obviously, excludes M$ Internet Exploder.

    My favs these days are based on webkit and Gecko, and they don't do Google by default, which last factor is the big one for me.

  22. David S


    Nice try, but no cigar. I do work in the SaaS arena (so to speak) and have visited the London GooglePlex on one occasion (a nice bunch, but a spookily friendly office environment. Almost too cutesy and nice...) but no, I don't work for Google.

    What I do do, though, is a hell of a lot of work in browser interfaces, which means I can really appreciate differences between browser experiences. It's in that capacity that my comments were left.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Chrome / Irons JS engine may be faster

    but that's probably because it there is a hell of a lot of JS that it doesn't run.

    Just try and use facebook for a start... the JS / AJAX bar at the bottom of the window renders, but doesn't work (while firefox and IE have no problem with it).

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