Google’s New Browser Rendering Engine Blink Could Mean Big Changes for Android and Chrome Users

Google’s New Browser Rendering Engine Blink Could Mean Big Changes for Android and Chrome Users

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.

Wait, what?

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.

Opera Mobile 12.1 Releases, But WebKit Support is Not Here Yet

Opera Mobile 12.1 Releases, But WebKit Support is Not Here Yet

Oct 9, 2012

Opera has released version 12.1 of the Opera Mobile browser for Android. While they’ve been known for the data-saving Opera Mini, this is a full-fledged version of the Opera browser that renders pages on the device itself, though the remote-rendering “turbo” mode is available here. One of the big new features is under the hood, as the SPDY technology for faster page rendering is now supported by the browser. Websites including Twitter and Gmail use this SPDY protocol. Other new features include WebSockets support, and improved CSS and HTML5 compatibility for better user experience.

Note that this is not the version of Opera that will supports the -webkit CSS prefix. For those not in the know, this is a controversial decision as it is furthering the practice of browsers just essentially pronouncing themselves as a WebKit browser, with WebKit being the underlying technology behind Chrome and Safari browsers, for example. Opera doesn’t necessarily use WebKit, but has support for its prefix, which could bring up errors for sites that are optimized for Opera but may not have their WebKit optimizations work properly in Opera. Still, the browser may need this to stay competitive as a real alternative choice.