According to the Head of Chrome, Apple’s New iPhone Browser Engine Strategy Stifles “Real Choice”

According to the Head of Chrome, Apple’s New iPhone Browser Engine Strategy Stifles “Real Choice”

Apple declared this week that it will permit “alternative” browser engines on the iPhone in Europe in response to the Digital Markets Act (DMA). The leader of Google’s Chrome division gave their opinions on the impending iPhone browser engine upgrade today.

iOS 17.4, which is already in testing and is scheduled to go stable next month, permits non-WebKit browser engines to be used by iOS apps in the EU. This includes both “dedicated browser apps and apps providing in-app browsing experiences.”

While Firefox is unable to use Gecko, Chrome and Microsoft Edge on the iPhone have long been forced to use the same browser engine as Safari in place of Blink. This limits the competition and difference between meaningful web browsers, as observed on desktop platforms and Android.

To obtain this Web Browser Engine Entitlement, Apple outlined extremely rigorous procedures that included meeting certain standards, receiving “timely security updates to address emerging threats and vulnerabilities,” and meeting other “ongoing privacy and security requirements.”

Parisa Tabriz, general manager and vice president of Chrome, declared today that “Apple isn’t serious about supporting web browser or engine choice on iOS.” Their approach is extremely constrictive and will not provide browser developers with any meaningful options.

She concurred with Mozilla’s earlier assertion that, as other browser engines are exclusive to the EU, Firefox would need to “build and maintain two separate browser implementations.”

That being said, Microsoft is a major partner and contributor to Blink and Chromium, and Google ought to be among the select few businesses willing to dedicate the necessary engineering resources to this project. Google started working on bringing Blink to iOS last year. The description at the time was “experimental only,” not “shippable product.” That was, though, prior to the impending iOS modification. inquired of Google about its intentions to release Blink on iOS or if it considered its exclusive use for Europe to be too restrictive to implement.

In addition to Edge and Chrome, third-party applications may use Blink (Embedded Browser Engine Entitlement).

Sanchita Patil

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