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Google Has ‘No Current Plans’ to Bring Chrome to Windows Phone

screenshot of windows phone chrome

Unlikely to happen …for now

Google has ‘no current plans’ to make a native Windows Phone Chrome app, one of the browser’s developers has said.

The update comes several months after a Chromium developer was assigned to investigate the feasibility of porting the browser to Microsoft’s mobile platform.

‘No Plans’

Google Software EngineerCarlos Pizano, who reopened the bug tracking the feature request, provided an update on the current status of the issue on the Chromium Issue Tracker.

And the news isn’t good: 

“[There are] No current plans that I am aware of. Chrome needs more privileges than a regular metro app so there is no simple port.”

‘No Simple Port’

Microsoft’s restrictions on how ‘Metro Apps’ work, what they can do and how they do it was always going to present a headache for Chromium developers looking to support the platform.

The requirement to build on the Internet Explorer rendering engine rather than using its own would see users get a less familiar window on the web than that offered on iOS, much less Android.

No Change There Then

Not that this rebasing approach has been dismissed entirely. Carlos suggests that it might be ‘feasible’ for a third-party developer to create a Chrome-style wrapper around the rendering engine. Even so, it is highly unlikely that any such project would gain the official stamp of approval from Google, and would almost certainly lack many of the features that make Chrome Chrome elsewhere (e.g., bookmarks sync, omnibar integration, Google Now, etc.).

But technical complexity or not, this news keeps thing a smidge consistent. Google is yet to formally bring any of its services to Windows Phone (or Windows 8) bar a solitary ‘search app’.  Demand is there; the Windows App Store is awash in third-party apps promising ‘the best’ YouTube, Gmail, Google Calendar and Maps experiences.

Microsoft may prefer having a tight grip over its app ecosystem, but some leeway in current rules may convince the developers and users staying at arm’s length to come in for a closer look. 

  • Michael Johnson

    Don’t care… But what about Hangouts? That’s just about the only Google app that I think really needs to be in WP…

  • http://petercast.net Peterson Silva

    I’ve heard Microsoft will make programming for WP and Windows pretty much the same thing… Like building an app for regular Windows will enable it for use on Windows Phone. If there is already Chrome for Windows [8] then with time it might work with WP effortlessly.

    • miri

      There isn’t. Microsoft has browser restrictions on Win8 (Modern UI) as well.

      • http://petercast.net Peterson Silva

        Oh, I see.. A bummer for WP users, I guess.

      • http://whizzer0.bandcamp.com whizzer0

        No, the Chrome Metro app runs fine on my x64 laptop, and it’s designed to resemble and work like Chrome OS. Unfortunately I switched to Linux.

        • Kryptis3

          You have to be kidding me, your x64 laptop, is just a x86_64 laptop. It’s still an x86 device.

      • Heimen Stoffels

        Actually, MS only has those restrictions on Windows 8.x RT, not on Windows 8.x Pro.

  • Victor Who

    Windows Phone is not even a player in the smartphone-mobile space. When it finally does…IF it does, then Google should consider developing Chrome for Windows Phone.

    • http://twitter.com/d0od Joey-Elijah Sneddon

      Hmm, I’m not sure I’d dismiss it out of hand so readily. It’s not the dominant player (and is unlikely ever to be) but it’s carving out a fairly solid % for itself since the introduction of WP8 (around 10% of the mobile OS market in Europe). And with the recent foray into China, I suspect its adoption will only continue to grow.

      • MrTrunky

        2.7% global market share is ridiculous.

        • http://twitter.com/d0od Joey-Elijah Sneddon

          It’s not great, admittedly.

          Now when you take the US out of the equation it does rises up a fair bit, but even its european growth has started to slow a little. Of course, we’re still largely in the last throes of the Ballmer era. I think that Windows Threshold/WP9 hits we’ll start to see a lot more of Nadella’s vision helping to accelerate growth.

      • spec

        using the term not a player is different to not the dominant player is 2 different comments, to be fair windows has a long way to go convincing people its phone is great, and it is. But its still a player.

    • http://maitreyavyas.in/ Maitreya Vyas

      Not forgetting that in India it’s second most used mobile OS after Android.

    • spec

      really so 10s of millions of win8.1 phones sales, nearly beating iPhone in several world markets means windows phone isn’t a player. Please explain to me why windows isn’t a player in the mobile phone market? Is it cause you live in one country and think that’s the only country in the world or do you really believe they aren’t a player?

  • kiiik

    Dafuq? Chrome on Windows Phone???

  • http://whizzer0.bandcamp.com whizzer0

    Umm… You know iOS has the exact same restriction, right? Other browsers have to use a version of Safari that’s actually worse than the app itself.

    • rheerani

      But Chrome and Safari have similar rendering engines, and if you read the article the words used suggest that the experience of Chrome on iOS is worse than on Android and it’ll be even worse on WP because of the rendering engine used. Though going from recent developments the IE rendering engine may get good enough for them to reconsider but I won’t bet on it.

      • MrMiketheripper

        And iirc, with iOS8 third party browsers will be able to use the nitro engine (i believe that’s what it’s called).

      • Heimen Stoffels

        But Chrome utilizes features from Webkit (or now, Blink) so unless MS implements all of those things in Trident, a Chrome on Trident port to Windows Phone is not gonna happen.

        • rheerani

          I know that and I am not disputing that point, I was just correcting whizzer and I won’t bet on my last point for exactly the same reason you pointed out.

          P.S. – Forgive my English.

  • warex3d

    We WP users don’t care.

    • spec

      yeh totally agree explorer works fine, our third party you tube apps are great well the 2 I have are, and well I have my own maps and they work well. I think not having some google apps on a windows phone isn’t that big a issue.

  • Reese

    And Microsoft isn’t likely to make IE available on Android, so what’s the big deal?

    • Heimen Stoffels

      Apples to oranges. Chrome is a cross-platform browser (Win, Mac, Linux, ChromeOS, iOS, Android), IE is a Windows (and Windows Phone) only browser. MS has no plans to make IE cross-platform whatsoever. Unlike Google, who already made Chrome cross-platform.

      • Michael Goff

        Chrome on iOS is not Chrome. It’s Safari with a new skin and a few other changes.

        • SolarShane13

          And the most stupidest comment award goes to…..

          • Michael Goff

            And yet amazingly enough you can’t refute it.

            So I guess the award goes to you?

    • SolarShane13

      And Google isn’t likely to bring Chrome to it’s top competitor, iOS. Oh, wait. They did.

      • Michael Goff

        That’s because Chrome is built on WebKit and that’s the engine they’re using on iOS. If they were built on, say, Gecko? Well, there wouldn’t even be the fake Chrome on iOS that there is now.

        • SolarShane13

          Fake Chrome? Um, Chrome IS Chrome!

          • Michael Goff

            Chrome is more than a UI. Chrome is a browser built using Chromium, which either has a special WebKit build or Blink depending on which version. It has a specific JS engine. It has specific extensions. I has a lot of specific things that it doesn’t have on iOS.

    • Chris Maxey

      Who wants IE? I like windows but without chrome it is a dealbreaker for me. In the past 2 weeks I bought both a windows phone and an android. The android makes me much happier. While I never cared for W8 in general I must admit I was very surprised by how much i prefer the android over the windows phone and chrome was only a small part of that.

  • Lukee

    Not needed. IE is very very fast on WP, only missing feature is bookmark sync however some apps for Chrome’s sync already exists.

    • Danmansonman

      Bookmark sync does exist in Windows phone, 8.1 anyway.

  • Michael Goff

    Google not wanting to make a app for WP? I, for one, am shocked. They have a great Hangouts app, and they have a great YouTube app, so I definitely imagined they’d be trying for this as well.
    And yes, that was sarcasm.

  • Danmansonman

    Meh, IE on Windows phone 8.1 is blemin nice to use anyway.

  • http://www.online-nrw.de/ wiyono

    I don’t care and i don’t like android, in my iPhone i use safari in my WP i use IE.. hihihi… poor google..

  • Leonardo Monday

    Google should provide gmail and drive apps, since there are people who pay for google apps… just leaving the imap or pop access is bullshit .

  • lj2387

    I’m getting really tired of Google’s bullshit. The total lack of basic Google apps on the WP8 platform is unforgivable.

    • spec

      I believe what they say and to be fair I don’t mind, im not reliant on google, I do use a lot of google stuff but not having a few things missing isn’t hurting the windows 8.1 phone from my perspective, though I can understand that google is a very attractive element on any phone. To be fair ill wait see what 10s like. im on 8.1 im hoping 10 isn’t to different, im hoping its more improvements as im very happy on 8.1, and if 10 is similar im probably gona invest in Microsoft and that means making my outlook my main email and I might even try a different service to you tube, bont get me wrong I love your tube but they have messed with its interface a few to many times, if there was a alternative to go to as rich as you tube is then id be there.

    • Munchy

      totally agree. That’s why I use very little google services, I’m still phasing my gmail oucount out and I only really use you tube at this stage but already ive changed my you tubing habits to go tith others. The day google bought you tube was a sad day for fairness.

  • Jason Zajdel

    That is because Michael Goff is correct. Apple has the same requirements for browsers that microsoft does on their mobile platform. In short, you have to package your browser over their built in browser. So yes Chrome in IOS is just a repackaged safari with chrome features, whereas, chrome on a desktop OS has it’s own binary that is completely independent of any other browsers.

    • SolarShane13

      Blink = WebKit.

      Chrome iOS uses WebKit. Chrome for iOS is Chrome.

  • uteweatherman

    maybe with windows 10?

  • http://poshhub.com/ poshhub

    Firefox and Google Chrome with Adobe Flash support are needed on Windows Phone.

    • ram

      if not support chrome Firefox application in window phone this window phone user. Very sad ..and main problem is in window phone we can’t use facebook massager calling service .imo software and other

      • Munchy

        I don’t see the point of using chrome on the windows phone when edge and before it explorer were more than fine on it.

  • SorinJackson

    Hi,

    Currently Google has no plans to build a native windows phone chrome app but i am looking forward to see native windows phone chrome app. I am also a window app developer and hope it is possible in the year of 2015.

  • lj2387

    Windows Phone has actually stopped gathering momentum, as market share growth for the devices has virtually stalled and in many markets decreased. The majority of Windows Phone sales are in India and Europe. The platform is all but dead in the United States. Furthermore, Google doesn’t have the same competition stance with Apple, as Google develops apps for that platform that are just as good as the Android counterparts. There is bad blood between Microsoft and Google, and Google hurts consumers and themselves by withholding their services from Windows customers. If they can’t get Google content on their phones, they will either ditch Google or get these services through a crappy third-party runaround.

    • Deyirn Skysand

      It’s the sales people who are at fault. In 2013 I was in the USA, I was in a Verizon store and some 50-something guy wanted to buy a smartphone, there was a Lumia 520, he asked about that one, the saleswoman told him it’s too complicated to use and pointed him the iPhone… I got really angry with her, although I was using Android back then, not that I confronted her. I just found out that sales people are the ones that manipulate the market share. In Bulgaria this happened too. My mom asked me for advice on a new phone, I told her to get a Lumia. In the store, my mom asked for a Lumia 535 and the salesman told her that WP has less apps than Android, basically advertising Android to her. In Bulgaria everyone, but me and a few other smart people are using that Android garbage, mostly due to advertisement.

      • lj2387

        I agree to a degree with you, but salespeople aren’t dissuading everyone from buying Widows Phones. The operating system is new and different, so for some, it might honestly be too confusing (though Android is FAR more confusing then WP). But the reality is, the support for the device is sub par. Developers could care less about it, and Microsoft only updates the OS about twice a year, if even that, and they have yet to prove themselves dedicated to the platform. Microsoft has abandoned almost every single mobile device it has ever created, with the exception of Windows 8 devices (except for RT, which Microsoft has also pretty much abandoned).

        • Deyirn Skysand

          thats true, but i got a WP hoping to get an updated OS, now i have windows 10 on my phone and i get a preview build every ~2 months

          the only problem i have is the lack of apps, other than that, im happy with WP

        • Munchy

          I know a lot of friends 4-5 lol that tried to by a icon or a 1520 only to be told to buy ANDROID THEY ARE BETTER LOL. So thers definatly a big issue there, and its a story I read a lot about all the time in the usa.

    • Munchy

      I get you tube from metro tube(awesome windows version.) and metro cast for casting again without thes id be struggling to use windows phone as a daily device, but I’m not.

  • liamdools

    Good.

  • Munchy

    really don’t care about chrome on my widows phone. Gmail app and a you tube app agre about the only things id like to see. And now with the terrible outlook mail and outlook calender, googlecal, id easy jump back to these.

  • Munchy

    yet they are supporting apple lol. Lets fACE IT GOOGLE WOULDNT EXIST IF IT WASNT FOR WINDOWS DESKTOP, AND YOU TUBE SHOULD BE PROTECTED AND NOT USED AS A MONOPOLY WHICH IS ESENTIALLY WHAT GOOGLE IS DOING. ops caps soz. Microsoft was fined millions and forced to allow multiple browsers access to windows why shouldn’t google be treated the same way. All google are doing is hurting the technology era, by holding it back and sticking a huge finger up at windows phone users and prospective windows phone uasers, why should we condone this in any way.