Developers ask Apple to open up alternative browser engines on iOS

Developers ask Apple to open up alternative browser engines on iOS
Developers ask Apple to open up alternative browser engines on iOS 1

Alternative browsers on iOS are not like on other platforms. Chrome, Firefox, Opera and other browsers all have the same engine – Apple’s Webkit – while those on Android, Windows, Mac and Linux have other engines like Blink and Gecko.

This is a problem, says a group of developers who have started the organization Open Web Advocacy, whose goal is to persuade Apple to open iOS so that developers can use browser engines other than Webkit.

Apple has said over the years that Webkit coercion is about security and guaranteed performance. If the company lets in other engines, Apple will no longer be able to fix security flaws, but it will be up to the browser developers themselves. Other engines can also be more energy consuming and thus impair the iPhone’s battery life, Apple says.

The developers behind the call say The Register that the problem with Apple’s Webkit locking is that Apple has lagged behind in development. Webkit simply lacks many modern web standards. In addition, Webkit has limitations over Safari on iOS – for example, Apple Pay can not be used in other browsers, and full screen mode does not work fully.

The group will now write a report to the British Competitions and Markets Authority and hopes to get the authority to force Apple.

Developers ask Apple to open up alternative browser engines on iOS 1

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