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Not your average Chrome for Android Post

Update: Nevermind, turns out I was mistaken! http://peter.sh/2012/02/bringing-google-chrome-to-android/

I'd love to see the project also merged into AOSP, but the fact that we have the source is a huge step into the right direction.

I woke up to a pleasant surprise this morning. My friend +Tony Foteh mentioned chrome for Android to me. While the app itself is great in its own right, it raises a serious concern for me. This is yet another app in the growing trend of closed source apps coming from Google.

The first app to do this was the music app and although that application is still in Google's repository, it has essentially been abandoned. The drawables weren't even updated for ICS. The search app has been doing this since the beginning of Android essentially. When you flash a gapps package, it removes the default quicksearch for the Google flavored one. Most of you probably didn't know this application even existed.

Now, I can understand something proprietary, like the Gmail application, being closed source. But the browser is a core part of the platform and I shudder think how much Android will be crippled if the browser is abandoned in favor of a closed source one.

Although the chromium blog says that bits and pieces will be provided upstream, they appear to tiptoe around the entire application becoming open. http://blog.chromium.org/2012/02/deeper-look-at-chrome-for-android.html. Google introduced Android as an open source project and although they have every right to develop closed source applications, I hope they don't do it by dropping their open source counterparts as something like that would cripple the thriving from development community as well as the open device/driver standard that many Googlers, such as +Jean-Baptiste Queru are trying to establish.
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Alan Chew's profile photoBryce Neely's profile photoTill Essers's profile photoKeyan Mobli's profile photo
54 comments
 
So your suggestion would be for there to be a Chromium counterpart to Chrome for Android?
 
I'd rather they develop this internally, opensauce sometimes (as with Android) and force the hardware makers into including that as part of the Google Experience, thereby forcing a modicum of Google-originating unicity across all Androids, and hopefully replacing OEMs' sometimes half-functionnal browsers in many distributions, at times "accelerated" and extremely buggy.

tl;dr: Good as long as it sticks one to the OEMs and we get to (f/m)uck with Chromium.

[non-bold italics are edits]
 
Just use Firefox ;-) latest beta is an impressive beast. CyanogenMod ICS with Firefox as default browser? That would be perfect, and open.
 
aside from a more intense "sync" of sorts - how does chrome differ from the default browser??
 
I think Google is trying stop companies like Amazon of make their own Android flavors that won't deliver traffic to their ads.
 
My main concern is why don't they simply develop sync plugins like they currently do with browser/contact sync in Android. That way they could opensource the browser, but keep their proprietary secrets hidden
 
+Keyan Mobli My guess is that they're less concerned about proprietary secrets and more concerned with having a stick to beat OEM's and carriers with.
 
While I agree with you (+Keyan Mobli), it doesn't bug me as much. No, developers can't improve and re-package the browser if it isn't open source, but the way I see it is, if we get a product that works, then I, as a user, don't care much if it isn't open source.

For example, the music app was "abandoned" in favor of Google Music, and what happened to the AOSP Music app? +Andrew Neal made it awesome, pretty, functional and amazing. For me, Google Music works, and I use it, but for those that can't get Google Music, then somebody out there can do something better, it doesn't necessarily has to be Google.
 
i was thinking it was more of a "start it up on android...work out the kinks... but ultimately its so Chrome can be on BBos and iOS" - ??? - maybe?? ... ha --- just a thought... carry on
 
+César Carpinteiro Not necessarily, a browser can be coded from scratch by any of those companies, the APIs are available for anyone to use, hence the reason why anyone can develop their own browser and publish it on the market. Point is, the lack of browser won't stop OEMs.
 
+Daniel Velazco My issue is that if the music app was opensource, then +Andrew Neal's changes could be integrated into it, resulting in a better product for everyone. By close sourcing these apps, end users are missing out on the improvements that talented people can bring to them.

I'm also worried about what happens when an OEM does decide to make their own browser, but I'm not convinced they will try.
 
+Fernando Miguel The latest betas, with native controls, work perfectly on my HTC phone.

It wouldn't surprise me if this led to more distros, Amazon and HTC already have their own browsers, although the HTC one is closer to stock. Google forcing vendors into another point of differentiation?
 
+Keyan Mobli I see your point, and I agree. Also, If the AOSP Browser is abandoned, then it's up to the OEM to give the user a good browser experience. I see them working on their own browser, Samsung has done it before, but, they might not do it well (HTC Sense)
 
Let's just hope that Google will release a full open source version of Chrome for Android to the Chromium project. It would be even better to merge that into AOSP as well.
 
+Craig Nicol i have market stable and beta versions, and nightly! none work well enough! and after two tabs open, you stop being able to click links!
 
+Daniel Velazco If Google decides to bring html5 apps to Android via Chrome, it would be a competitive advantage. Besides a good Browser takes lots of time and effort to be made.
 
I'd be happy to look at contributions that improve the AOSP music player.
 
Cool. Looking forward to it, as I'd like an improved music player :)
 
Almost as if google android is a half assed pos like most open source "software."
 
+Steve Pan - I can assure you that I put my entire ass on the line trying to make AOSP as good as I possibly can.
 
Re: the music player I wonder if it might not be better to pull it in as an external/ project in AOSP. I mean it's still going to be CM people who maintain it, and I hesitate to try to treat it as a contribution per se. It is defacto upstream to AOSP so maybe we should treat it that way...
 
I really hope that we can build Chromium and get a fairly respectable experience on Android with it.
 
+Steve Pan You don't have to turn this into a disrespectful conversation.

In other notes, I am fine with having Chrome as a closed source project, as long as we have an open source counterpart; much like on the desktop where we also have chromium. That way contributions can still be made.
 
You've got a point there... haven't thought of it that way.
 
As much I love Android, it is the most closed open-source project.
 
You know Mobli, I regret following you. I'm a HTC Sensation owner and I know my phone sucks, but why did you have to abandon it?
 
+Ananya Gupta Trip has an unstable personality, sometimes he shows flashes of brilliance (?) but most of the time he's petty and cruel. He is probably an equivalent of a persona-non-grata to xda, wherein an unfortunate mention of his name is an invitation to a ban hammer. +Keyan Mobli has dissed him in the beginning, but the lack of official CM9 news has disheartened me and a lot of Sensation owners.
 
+Christopher Tacang I agree with you on everything about Trip but the guy's making progress and I look beyond him. His B004 drop from today looks great. It is your ONLY option at this point.

On the other hand, CM's page still lists the Sensation (http://www.cyanogenmod.com/devices/htc-sensation) - does it mean anything though from a future state perspective? Go figure. And oh yeah, fuck +HTC - they deserve everything they're getting for being out of touch with the consumer and pumping out devices they can't update but feel the need to force Sense down our throats.
 
+Ananya Gupta Yeah, Trip's a helpful douchebag but he is the only one I've seen kanging CM9 for the benefit of his fellow Sensation owners. I'll wait for his stable-ish CM9 or I'll just leave my Sensation somewhere just like +Keyan Mobli did
 
Never ceases to amaze me how every one of his posts is warped into a sensation comment.

I am super happy with Chrome already and happy to hear that it could already be improved. I need to learn more bout coding and deving so i can make sense of this upstream stuff in that article :)
 
That's stupid, he's the CM9 dev for the sensation, of course people would bug him for updates.
 
+Christopher Tacang 1st sorry Keyan for the CM9 post right here, but bro Trips CM9 i believe is stable now not sure but im using his AOSP Beta 4 which is extremely stable no lockups only fault about these roms he's made is No BT and Video Camera Recording
 
+Keyan Mobli Bro, I hate to say it but throw us a bone. I'm cool with waiting as I'm not interested in a half working trip from. Maybe a little update on sensation cm9 progress. Its just nice to know where ur at, were all looking to taste some cm goodness.
 
Guys, virtuous quattro is very stable (fb and browser sometimes crash), and its almost pure aosp, with all but bt working.
 
Nicely said +Michał Lemke quattro is poor, its early to mid alpha. I find the Inquisition from really nice with some nova launcher. Granted, would like the pure AOSP for a bit smoother in places like SMS but apart from that its good.
 
The only thing that's stopping me from using Chrome for Android by default is the inability to set it to browse on desktop mode permanently. For now, I'm sticking with Dolphin Browser.
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