Google Makes Chrome Open Source for iOS

BY Evan Selleck

Published 31 Jan 2017

Chrome for iOS - logo

The Chromium Project has meant that Chrome for Desktop has been open source for quite some time, with an Android version launched in 2015.

The wait for open source Chrome for iOS has finally come to an end, though, as Google has officially announced that the mobile browser is now part of the Chromium Project, and, as such, the code for Chrome on iOS is included in the Chromium open source repository.

Google notes that it has been due to the constraints put in place with iOS, specifically with the prerequisite that browsers run Apple’s WebKit rendering engine, why Chrome has not gone open source for Apple’s mobile operating system. Google wanted to avoid complexities in its database, seeing as it would have to support both WebKit and its own Blink engine.

But, they worked around it:

“Given Chrome’s commitment to open-source code, we’ve spent a lot of time over the past several years making the changes required to upstream the code for Chrome for iOS into Chromium. Today, that upstreaming is complete, and developers can compile the iOS version of Chromium like they can for other versions of Chromium. Development speed is also faster now that all of the tests for Chrome for iOS are available to the entire Chromium community and automatically run any time that code is checked in.”

For the end user, this won’t mean much, as they probably won’t notice anything different moving forward. However, for developers, it means that even better and faster versions of Chrome for iOS can see the light of day on a more regular basis.

[via Chromium Blog]