Apr 4, 2013
Google made a big announcement on Wednesday, one that may have immediate ramifications for the nerdy audience, but will have a big impact on all Android users going forward. See, they’re forking WebKit into a new browser rendering engine called Blink.
Well, Safari and Chrome on both desktop and mobile have been linked by the use of the same engine to render webpages. Granted, there’s been some differences in the way that each browser works, but that’s software development. Still, it’s meant that there’s been a lot more cross-compatibility than there would be otherwise.
But now, Google is splitting the open source WebKit into their own rendering engine. While it will have come from the same source, with its own independent development, there’s no guarantee that developers will be able to make the same webpages largely work in the same way for each browser. Or at least, it seems like it will be much harder work for developers. There could be more broken web pages in the future.
While there’s the obvious surface idea that Google is doing this to split from Apple, who created WebKit and are of course one of their biggest competitors, there’s also the mention of technical reasons, according to TheNextWeb. So perhaps this leads to a better Chrome down the road, and Opera is joining in the fun too with Blink.
While this may be invisible to users, this is news that will have serious long-term ramifications for Android and Chrome users as Google makes its product more independent.