Chrome on iOS is open-sourced at last

Google's Chrome web browser has been brought to the open source universe thanks to years of upstreaming work by its developers. Google historically kept the code for Chrome for iOS separate from the Chromium project because of what they call "constraints on the iOS platform." With iOS for iPhone and iPad, all web browsers are required to have been built on top of the WebKit rendering engine – Google just made it possible to skip that worry.

To be abundantly clear, here, Google hasn't done anything Apple does not approve of for Chrome. Chrome for iOS is still built on top of WebKit, it's just that Google's made the effort to make some changes to make the process for developers easier. Chrome must support both WebKit and Blink to work on the platforms it's meant to be used on.

"Given Chrome's commitment to open-source code, we've spent a lot of time over the past several years making the changes required to upstream the code for Chrome for iOS into Chromium," said Rohit Rao, Chrome Developer at Google. "Today, that upstreaming is complete, and developers can compile the iOS version of Chromium like they can for other versions of Chromium."

Upon devoting "years of careful refactoring" to this project, all of the code for Chrome for iOS is coming back to Chromium. As it does so, code for Chrome for iOS is being moved to the open-source repository. "We value the open source community and all of our contributors," said Rao, "and we're glad that Chrome for iOS can finally join in. "