In an experiment, Google is switching Chrome for iOS’s engine from WebKit to its own

News Summary:

  • In a statement, a Google spokesperson told Engadget that the Blink portal is just a “prototype” part of a larger open source initiative. It will not be made public and the company will “continue to comply” with Apple’s rules. However, it’s not clear why Google would want to test Blink on iOS. If Apple’s policies remain firm, Google will not be allowed to release software based on Blink. Only people with enough experience compiling and running content_shell can feel this experience.

  • Apple’s App Store policies require the Chrome browser on iOS to use the WebKit engine instead of the regular Blink, but that doesn’t stop Google from indulging in a “what if” scenario. The registry noticed that Google had recently begun conducting a test porting Blink to iOS. The project is limited to a simplified “content_shell” app instead of Chrome, and the Chromium team is working hard to emphasize that the project is not “distributable”. The company says it’s only for testing graphics and input performance.

The timing may not be a coincidence, however. The US government wants Apple and Google to open their platforms, providing users with ways to install apps that aren’t covered by first-party store policies. There are also rumors that Apple may allow third-party app stores on iOS to please European regulators. If Apple relaxes its approach, Google’s lead in porting Blink could help it change Chrome’s web engine pretty quickly.

Such a change could upset browser competition on iOS. Apple’s WebKit requirement theoretically helps with security by limiting web exploits, but it also gives third-party browsers less of a way to stand out – they can’t use custom tools. may be faster or loaded with more features than Apple’s Safari. Just like on Android or desktop, an alternative browser offers more than just a different look.