A prototype iOS web browser is being developed by Google‘s Chromium developers would circumvent Apple’s restrictions on web browser engines. Developers are actively working on the experimental browser, which makes use of Google’s Blink engine. However, it wouldn’t pass Apple’s Application Review procedure if Google tried to upload it to the App Store.
According to Apple’s App Store guidelines, browser applications for iOS and iPadOS must make use of the company’s WebKit browser engine. This implies that while browsers such as Microsoft Edge and Chrome are created with Chromium on Windows and macOS, their iOS equivalents are compelled to utilize Apple’s WebKit, which causes them to act such as Safari.
The software allegedly resembles the beginning of another browser build based on the public code commits, although it is still in its early stages and is lacking some essential functions. Google asserts that the application is only “an experimental version with the intention of understanding some elements of performance on iOS” and that it “won’t be offered to users and we’ll maintain to adhere by Apple’s standards.”
To be sure, Google’s work on an experimental iOS browser may be an indication that the corporation is waiting for adjustments to Apple’s platform policies that will allow it to launch a browser that is actually developed in-house.
The Biden government has most recently advocated for the passage of new legislation to prohibit “gatekeeper” corporations like Apple from forbidding alternative browser engines on its platform, raising the issue of Apple’s browser engine restriction once again under antitrust investigation.
Antitrust agencies in Japan, Australia, and the UK have all made suggestions that are very similar. As early as next year, Apple is anticipated to be forced to let third-party app stores and remove its limits on browser engines by the Digital Markets Act of the European Union. If a Blink-based iOS browser is ever made available, Google will at the very least have a significant head start thanks to the ongoing project.