Google has now finally uploaded its Chrome code for iOS devices on the Chromium repository, often where Google uploads its open source tools for other developers's benefit.
The open source code can now be for anyone's perusal, and on top of which, the code can be modified and compiled for personal developer projects who want take advantage of Google's own code.
Chrome For iOS
As dictated by the constraints of the iOS platform, all browsers for the OS must be built on top of the WebKit rendering engine, meaning Chromium needs to support WebKit alongside Blink, Chrome's rendering engine for other platforms. This particular integration was too complex, according to Google, so it was nixed from the Chromium code base.
Over the past several years, much has been spent to initiate the needed changes to upstream the Chrome for iOS code into Chromium, a painstaking stint which has finally been achieved.
For those who don't know, Chromium is an open source internet browser whose code hovers similarly in the vein of Google Chrome. New or experimental features are often tested on Chromium first, before it can be officially ported to Chrome, the more mainstream browser.
Many developers have created their own projects having taken advantage of the open source code, and they have released several versions under the Chromium moniker, which ended being the starting point for many brothers now already available. Even Opera, also bedfellows with Chrome, Firefox, and maybe even Safari in the pantheon of web browsers, switched to Chromium base back in 2013, shedding its own structure.
Chrome For Android
Only recently has Google made the source code for Chrome for Android available, essentially abandoning the usual fare of Chromium as an exclusively computer-targeted open source code. Now, having made the iOS available as well, the lineup is virtually complete.
What This Means For iOS Users
Skipping past the steep, jargon-brimmed terms aforementioned, what this means for the regular user is, essentially, more developers, presumably better ones, can tap the repository and create their own third-party web browsers for iOS. Chromium will provide a stable base for iOS developers planning to code their own web browsers, giving them customization options aplenty. It all just means a diversified trove of browsers for iOS in the long run.
"We value the open source community and all of our contributors, and we're glad that Chrome for iOS can finally join in," said Rohit Rao, the blog post's author.
iOS development for Chrome will now be much faster than previous, since tests will now be available to the whole Chromium community, which should run automatically each time a code is checked in, as per Apple Insider.
Even with Safari built into iOS, Chrome remains a popular web browser of choice on the OS. This predilection might be caused by Chrome's deft synchronization features spanning different platforms, in which bookmarks, preferences, and other important data are all mirrored across different devices users use it on.