Chrome iOS version in the works?

Will you soon be surfing the web on a version of Chrome while on your iPhone or iPad? That's what a new rumor claims. Business Insider reports that according to Macquarie analyst Ben Schacter, "Google Chrome browser for iOS is coming. Apple may already be reviewing Google’s submitted code for a Chrome browser for iOS."

He also claims that Chrome could be released for iOS devices as soon as the end of June but definitely sometime by the end of 2012. So far, neither Apple nor Google have confirmed this report.

If true, this would be a huge turn of events for iOS users, who have been pretty much stuck with Apple's own Safari web browser since the launch of the first iPhone in 2007. Apple has insisted that the Safari be the default web browser for iOS devices which means that if you click on a link in an email on your iPhone or iPad, it would use Safari.

It's unknown if Apple will now allow a iOS version of Chrome to be set as a default browser for the iPad and/or iPhone.

Google did confirm that it would release a Windows 8 Metro version of Chrome in March. However, both Google and Mozilla have protested Microsoft's decision to restrict access to third party web browsers for the ARM version of Windows 8.

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If this happens, ill jump on it right away. I love chrome on my desktop and it would be nice to see a desktop-ish version for iOS. The main thing id love to see is extension support.. am i dreaming? lol

So Google gets in trouble for messing with Safari, and when Apple steps in to stop it, and it even becomes a legal concern violating privacy; Google just does what they did with IE7 that locked out their ad tracking, and moves to create a Chrome version that they can get users to use and not have to answer to anyone about privacy violations.

(If IE7 didn't add in the tracking protection and screening technologies, Chrome might not have ever existed, and Google would have kept funding Firefox and pulling data from it.)

I can't really see that it matters if it is a front-end for Safari since they are both WebKit-based anyway. I'd be more interested by being able to set it as the default over Safari.

To be totally honest I prefer Opera Mini's way of doing things. Their servers do all the hard work so it eases work off your device. Google Chrome in my eyes always has been, and always will be a browser-for-netbooks, so it'll work really well on iPhone and iPad with its minimalist UI, I might even give it a whirl, if it actually gets approved that is...

I would assume this "Chrome" is merely a front-end UI for Safari? Unless Apple loosen its restriction, which I find unlikely, then Google can't use its own V8 JavaScript engine with JIT. It would become exactly like all other alternatives except it's from Google. If they can do it for iOS, then what's stopping it from creating one for Windows RT, given that both OS have the similar restrictions? (Microsoft is less restricted).

They need to get Chrome out for Android devices first. Currently there is only a beta and even then it only support Android 4.0. I'd love to use it but even though my phone supports it my carrier (T-Mobile UK) is pathetically slow at releasing phone updates.

However, both Google and Mozilla have protested Microsoft's decision to restrict access to third party web browsers for the ARM version of Windows 8.

Microsoft has restricted access to APIs that allow you to make data executable, from all third-party apps. Very good news from a security standpoint. I believe this is completely consistent with Apple's approach.

rfirth said,

Microsoft has restricted access to APIs that allow you to make data executable, from all third-party apps. Very good news from a security standpoint. I believe this is completely consistent with Apple's approach.

Yes, the API framework is limited, but it is not impossible to create a browser; however, it would require almost a complete rewrite. In theory they could make Chrome for WP7 even, but it would NOT replace the OS browser, and would have to written in the C#/Silverlight framework, which is possible.

As for Apple, yes and no. They have 'policies' and limited APIs, but iOS does not have inherent security to restrict access to lower levels, hardware, nor Application isolation.

So Apple sometimes won't approve an App because it accesses things outside their policy, but iOS itself doesn't not inherent prohibit or secure Apps. Which is why Malware on iOS can hurt the OS and other App in addition to accessing the hardware.

On WP7, even if an App got through Microsoft's screening, or was loaded by a developer on an unlocked phone, it still could NOT access other Apps, the OS, or the hardware.

Nope.

Additional browsers in the App Store are just wrappers around the OS's built-in webkit engine. (Except Opera Mini which actually does rendering in "the cloud.") Safari remains the default target for clicking links from other apps... no way to change it at the moment.

It's unknown if Apple will now allow a iOS version of Chrome to be set as a default browser for the iPad and/or iPhone.

While I'd love to see them allow that I very much doubt they would do it just because Chrome came along...

Leonick said,

While I'd love to see them allow that I very much doubt they would do it just because Chrome came along...

To someone unfamiliar with iOS how are default programs managed? Surely Apple don't dictate what programs can be set as default?

Hollow.Droid said,

To someone unfamiliar with iOS how are default programs managed? Surely Apple don't dictate what programs can be set as default?


All apps are set as default, without jailbrekaing you have no say over what is the default camera/video/music/browser app. All set default as Apple's ones.

Possession said,

All apps are set as default, without jailbrekaing you have no say over what is the default camera/video/music/browser app. All set default as Apple's ones.

Damn, that's one approach I guess

neufuse said,
how long until they reject it because it "duplicates existing functionality"

They don't do that anymore, there are loads of browsers, calculators and so on in the AppStore

Leonick said,

They don't do that anymore, there are loads of browsers, calculators and so on in the AppStore

those browsers are front ends for Safari.

Hell-In-A-Handbasket said,
I'd use it if it was full-ish version, can't stand the Version of Firefox on iOS.

Full-ish, yea, at most it will be a chrome like interface that syncs your bookmarks, iOS browsers can only be a UI for the iOS webkit webview.

Hell-In-A-Handbasket said,
I'd use it if it was full-ish version, can't stand the Version of Firefox on iOS.

the iOS version of Firefox isn't a web browser I didn't think. I thought it was just a bookmark syncer.

SharpGreen said,

the iOS version of Firefox isn't a web browser I didn't think. I thought it was just a bookmark syncer.
That is indeed all it is. It uses Safari as the actual browser. If memory serves me, Mozilla said they had no interest in developing a browser for iOS at that time: http://www.computerworld.com/s...get_about_Firefox_on_iPhone

Of course, things have changed and Apple isn't as restrictive now, so Mozilla may reconsider their position.

Hurmoth said,
That is indeed all it is. It uses Safari as the actual browser. If memory serves me, Mozilla said they had no interest in developing a browser for iOS at that time: http://www.computerworld.com/s...get_about_Firefox_on_iPhone

Of course, things have changed and Apple isn't as restrictive now, so Mozilla may reconsider their position.

Umm, Apple is just as restrictive as they've always been in regards to 3rd party Web Browsers. They have always taken a hard stance that iOS applications can't process/interpret/execute code such as HTML and Javascript.

Shadrack said,

Umm, Apple is just as restrictive as they've always been in regards to 3rd party Web Browsers. They have always taken a hard stance that iOS applications can't process/interpret/execute code such as HTML and Javascript.

So Atomic and Terra web browsers I have on my iPad are just front ends for safari ?

Hell-In-A-Handbasket said,

So Atomic and Terra web browsers I have on my iPad are just front ends for safari ?

All alternative browsers in the App Store for the iPad are just UI front-end for Safari. The back-end engines for layout and javascript are still Safari. Apple does not allow third-party layout & javascript engines, and JIT is disabled for alternative browsers.

KevinN206 said,
All alternative browsers in the App Store for the iPad are just UI front-end for Safari. The back-end engines for layout and javascript are still Safari. Apple does not allow third-party layout & javascript engines, and JIT is disabled for alternative browsers.

Not strictly true. Opera being one example I believe.

Septimus said,

Not strictly true. Opera being one example I believe.


opera generates 'screenshots' of the websites on opera's own servers which is sends to your phone no processing involved on the phone itself.

Shadrack said,

Umm, Apple is just as restrictive as they've always been in regards to 3rd party Web Browsers. They have always taken a hard stance that iOS applications can't process/interpret/execute code such as HTML and Javascript.


Havent heard either mozilla or google cry so much about this as they do about WindowsRT. While the iOS ecosystem is ALLOT bigger then the WindowsRT ecosystem will be (for quite some time at least)