Apple’s App Retailer insurance policies require that the Chrome browser on iOS makes use of the WebKit engine moderately than the usual Blink, however that is not stopping Google from indulging in a “what if” state of affairs. The Register has noticed that Google not too long ago started work on an experiment that might port Blink to iOS. The undertaking is restricted to the stripped-down “content_shell” app moderately than Chrome, and the Chromium workforce engaged on the trouble stresses that it isn’t a “shippable product.” It is solely meant to check graphics and enter efficiency, the corporate says.
In an announcement, a Google spokesperson instructed Engadget the Blink port is barely a “prototype” that is half of a bigger open supply initiative. It will not be obtainable to the general public, and the corporate will “proceed to abide” by Apple’s guidelines.
It isn’t clear why Google needs to check Blink on iOS within the first place, although. If Apple’s insurance policies keep agency, Google will not be allowed to launch any Blink-based software program. Solely these skilled sufficient to compile and run content_shell could get a style of the expertise.
The timing is probably not coincidental, although. The US authorities needs Apple and Google to open up their platforms, giving customers methods to put in apps that are not ruled by first-party retailer insurance policies. Rumors have additionally swirled that Apple could allow third-party app stores on iOS to please European regulators. If Apple ever loosens its method, Google’s head begin on porting Blink may assist it swap Chrome’s net engine comparatively shortly.
A change like that might shake up browser competitors on iOS. Apple’s WebKit requirement theoretically aids safety by limiting the avenues for net exploits, but it surely additionally offers third-party browsers fewer methods to face out — they can not use customized engines that could be quicker or extra feature-laden than Apple’s Safari. As on Android or the desktop, another browser would supply greater than only a completely different interface.
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