back to article Google works on Blink-based iOS browser contrary to Apple's WebKit rule

Google's Chromium developers have begun work on an experimental web browser for Apple's iOS using the search giant's Blink engine. That's unexpected because the current version of Chrome for iOS uses Apple's WebKit rendering engine under the hood. Apple requires every iOS browser to use WebKit and its iOS App Store Review …

  1. mevets

    Gates in the Wall

    I can pay Apple some sort of Developer Tax to put whatever I want on my phone.

    An open source browser could be built and installed by anybody with one of these licenses.

    If google open source this, a whole pile of people could use it (* gasp *) even on their apple TVs...

    So Please Google; I promise I'll stop making fun of your lousy search, geo-location, voice rec, etc....

    1. NATTtrash

      Re: Gates in the Wall

      I can pay Apple some sort of Developer Tax to put whatever I want on my phone.

      Long live the Brave New World where you pay for a phone which you will never own or you can do with as you please...

    2. FIA Silver badge

      Re: Gates in the Wall

      I can pay Apple some sort of Developer Tax to put whatever I want on my phone.

      Or buy a second hand mac. You do need to be able to run their tooling.

      You only need a paid developer subscription to put stuff on other peoples phones. You can deploy to your own device with a free account.

      Or you can jailbreak it (I assume that's still a thing), it's your device*, then do with it as you please.

      * or in most people's case a complex arrangement between them, possibly their carrier, and some finance company.

  2. molletts

    The one (and only) thing I can say for Apple's blatantly-anticompetitive policy on browsers is that it blows a hole in any website's claim of only working with Chrome. There's a site we use at work that, even if you visit it using Edge (which, let's face it, is just a re-skinned variant of Chrome that phones home to a different mothership), simply displays page that says, "you need to be using Chrome to access this site; click here to download it." Funnily enough, it works fine on an iPad regardless of what Safari skin you happen to be using, despite refusing to run on Safari on a Mac.

    1. mark l 2 Silver badge

      Unfortunately that is because Chrome has become the IE of the 2020s where lazy developers assume your are either using Windows / Android and therefore probably on Chrome or iOS and on Safari.

      I am typing this on Firefox running on Linux, but I have a user agent plugin that lets me pretend to be Chrome on Windows 10 to get passed these shoddy developed Chrome only websites, and they tend to work 95% of the time without issue when FF puts on a Chrome disguise, and if they don't then thankfully its not usually a website I have to use such as a government one or financial institute etc so I can just move on to another site and they dont get my business.

    2. Proton_badger

      Yes, I'm personally looking forward to Apple being forced to opening up for other browsers, like a full Firefox. However, the downside is that it would get rid of one of the last barriers to full dominance of Google's Blink.

      1. DS999 Silver badge

        That's a HUGE downside

        I don't see any argument where being able to use other browsers on iOS outweighs the damage that would be done by going back to the bad old days where web sites are only compatible with one browser. Especially with Google being that one company, given how many more fingers they have in the web compared to Microsoft in the "best viewed in IE" days.

        If the government forces Apple to open up to other browsers they should simultaneously force Google to divest Chrome and not allow them to offer any browsers other than if they want to bundle one with Chrome.

      2. skwdenyer

        Indeed. In what was is allowing Blink to take over the iPhone a good thing for the world?

      3. Weeble


        The reason I got an iPhone was in an attempt (probably futile) to keep at least some of my private life out of Google's clutches.

        Once Chrome (hower disguised) gets onto the iPhone I assume it'll be gave-over?

    3. TheMeerkat

      It is Google who is trying to do exactly what Microsoft was blamed for with IE in the past.

    4. Mockup1974 Bronze badge

      I wonder what percentage of iPhone users use the Chrome app rather than Safari. That would be very important to judge the risk of full Blink monopolization.

  3. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Apple learned from Microsoft

    Microsoft thought that tech could just build stuff without making political contributions. Silicon valley have learned since then, so no multi year investigations and justice dept threats to break up Apple

    1. zuckzuckgo Silver badge

      Re: Apple learned from Microsoft

      And Microsoft is trying to learn from Apple by convincing users they need to get all their Windows 10/11 "apps" from the Microsoft Store. It is hard to put the genie back in the bottle but Microsoft will keep trying.

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Apple learned from Microsoft

      Even in 1998 (the antitrust case year) MS lobbied to the tune of $4M. They won on appeal though.

      1. FIA Silver badge

        Re: Apple learned from Microsoft

        Didn't they essentially get 'let off' once Bush Jnr. became president?

  4. Confucious2

    I use Apple products because there is no competition. I don’t want to have a myriad of stores and multiple apps that all do very similar things.

    Just give me the Apple Store where I know things will work.

    If you want choice, fine, buy Android. Nothing wrong with that, but please don’t ruin Apple products because you want it to be like Android.

    1. Richtea

      > Just give me the Apple Store where I know things will work.

      And when it doesn't work?

      You're quite a trusting person.

      1. RyokuMas

        At least stuff in the Apple store has actually been vetted and checked before being made available to the public.

        It's been a while since I last developed anything for mobile, but my experience was along the lines of:

        Apple: Pay $99/year, typically a 7-14 day wait post submission before your app is cleared for distribution on the store, or you get back a comprehensive list of things to fix.

        Android: Pay a one-off fee of$25, upload your app and hit "publish".

        1. ChoHag Silver badge

          > At least stuff in the Apple store has actually been vetted and checked

          Is this the latest version of "but at least their hardware is nice"?

          That was also true once.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      How 18 Malware Apps Snuck Into Apple's App Store

    3. captain veg Silver badge

      Ah, bless.

  5. RyokuMas

    "Finally, it looks like Apple's customers will be able to benefit from actual browser choice and competition, which is bound to benefit the Safari team, iOS users, web developers and anyone who does business on the web."

    Given how Google abused their effective monopoly of web search to make Chrome the number one browser, the hypocracy of this statement is mind-blowing.

  6. Juliajackson

    Can you please elaborate little more about Webkit?

    1. captain veg Silver badge

      What do you want to know?

      Webkit was forked off KHTML, a component of Kparts, from KDE.

      KDE is a really rather good desktop mostly deployed on Linux.

      When Bill Gates decided to discontinue Internet Explorer on Mac, Steve Jobs cast around for an alternative. KHTML looked like a good candidate. Adapted for MacOS it became WebKit, wrapped up in an app named Safari.

      KHTML was pretty good. Webkit was ported, e.g. to Windows.

      What more do you want to know?


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