It’s been a long time coming, but Google today announced that the iOS version of Chrome has now joined its Chromium open source project. Chrome doesn’t have nearly the same penetration rate on iOS that it does on other platforms, but it provides a safe haven for users that prefer Google services and are partial to Apple hardware.
In case you’re not up to speed on the iOS version of Chrome, Apple requires third-party browsers to use the same rendering engine as Safari: Apple’s WebKit. On the other hand, alternate versions of Chrome — available for Windows, macOS, Linux and Android — make use of Google’s Blink rendering engine.
According to Google, up until this point, it didn’t make much sense to migrate Chrome for iOS code into Chromium due to the dueling rendering engines. “Historically, the code for Chrome for iOS was kept separate from the rest of the Chromium project due to the additional complexity required for the platform,” wrote Google’s Rohit Rao. “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.”
Given the changes that Google has made, developers can now compile the Chromium version of iOS in the same manner that they would for other variant of Chromium. Google says that this will speed up the pace of browser development and assures 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 more information on Chromium for iOS, check out this page for more information.