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Google Chrome To Replace Android’s Built-in WebKit Browser!

google chrome coming to android

As you all know Google has many strong running products in the market. Google search, open sourced mobile OS-Android, Chrome browser, new Google+ etc. All these products are growing day by day and making Google as a biggest rival for different companies who are working solely on one of this niche product!

Google acquired Android Inc., way back in 2005 and released first version of Android OS in 2007. From then Google and Android went through many hurdles. They had to fight against big guns like Apple’s iOS, Nokia’s Symbian and RIM’s Blackberry. But finally they got the grip on the OS market share and hence is used by many users worldwide.

Even though Google owns both Android and Chrome product, it never thought of integrating Chrome in Android and thus a normal webkit browser is used in all the Android phones. But from past few days there has been an on-going speculation that Google is planning to move Chrome browser into its Android platform and offer its successful webkit-based browser available on Android platforms as well. It now seems that Google is close to make that move.


android webkit browser


Google’s Andrei Popescu wrote,

Hello WebKit!

We would like to give an update about WebKit on Android. A while ago, we started the effort to upstream the Android port of WebKit. For a variety of reasons, this work took longer than anticipated and was never finished. We realize that the incomplete Android port that exists today in WebKit ToT has caused quite a bit of confusion and inconvenience to the project as a whole and we are very sorry for that.

Over time, the Android Browser has come to share more and more code with Chrome (both WebKit and Chromium). This approach has a number of advantages for the WebKit community:

1. Android WebKit no longer requires a separate build system because we are able to reuse Chromium’s gyp system for building.
2. Android no longer requires a separate set of WebCore clients, platform abstractions, and embedder APIs because Android shares much of this code with the Chromium port.
3. The Android layout tests results more closely match chromium-linux and more expected results can be shared.

We plan to start by setting up a build bot that will compile Chromium’s DRT for Android using the Android NDK, SDK and toolchain. We anticipate a reasonably small set of changes to the Chromium port to achieve this. We’re fully committed to maintaining this new flavor of the Chromium port of WebKit and having a build bot up and running as soon as possible will make this an easier task. At the same time, we will be removing the existing incomplete Android port. This includes the Android-specific code in WebCore/platform/android, as well as any code guarded by the PLATFORM(ANDROID) macro.

We’re looking forward to a much better collaboration with the WebKit community and we’d be very grateful to receive any feedback on this plan.

Andrei, Steve, Ben

As Andrei said, for Google to introduce new flavour of the Chromium port of WebKit and having a build bot up and running as soon as possible is indeed an easier task as they have experts who have extensively worked on desktop version of Chrome browser. Even Android browser which is based on WebKit also uses V8 JavaScript engine, used by Google Chrome.

Good news for Android users as they will soon be using Google Chrome in their smartphones and tablets. 🙂


Will this port make a difference for Android users? Please share your thoughts! Cheers to all Android and Chrome users 😀 !!

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