A new report by has uncovered that Google’s Chromium engineers are testing the Blink browser engine on iOS devices instead of Apple’s WebKit engine.
Any software on Apple’s App Store is required, under its terms and policies, to use the WebKit engine, including the existing version of Google Chrome. However, Chromium developers seem to be preparing for a future that may allow the company to use the Blink engine that usually powers its browser elsewhere.
A Chromium bug report on the matter highlights that “this experimental application will be used to measure graphics and input latencies by providing traces for analysis.”
Google Chrome for iOS
The post continues: “Experimental only, not a launch bug for a shippable product.”
Why Google is working on a project that uses Blink on iOS devices is unclear at the moment, because Apple continues to enforce its WebKit policy.
However, some have speculated that, amid US government pressure to open up platforms and other EU regulatory action that has implied that users should be able to download apps outside of their native store environment, Apple may soon have to allow a lot of practices that it has previously condemned.
If this is the case, then it’s possible that a Blink-powered Chrome app will be allowed, bringing it in line with the rest of Google’s offerings, and a head-start will give it a one-up on other competitors that will likely be tempted to use their own default engines rather than Apple’s WebKit.
TechRadar Pro has asked Google for further comment on why it’s testing Blink on iOS devices. We’ve also asked Apple for further comment, including whether it plans to open up the WebKit restriction to encourage more diversity.
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Via The Register