Chrome for Android is now ‘almost entirely open source’, Google dev has announced.
Over 100,000 lines of code, including the Chrome’s entire user interface layer, has been made public, allowing anyone with the inclination to do so to look at, modify, and build the browser from source.
“After lots of work by Chrome for Android team and a huge change, Chrome for Android is now almost entirely open-source,” Chrome for Android Software Engineer Aurimas Liutikas announced on Reddit.
“It now matches Chrome desktop and you can build a Chromium browser by building chrome_public_apk target.“
Licensing restrictions prevent certain media codecs, plugins and Google service features form being included, hence the ‘almost’. This is the case in the open-source version of Google Chrome available on the desktop.
New Mobile Browsers Ahoy
‘Expect a batch of new Chromium-based browsers to land in the Play Store over the coming months’
The open-source version of Google Chrome on the desktop, Chromium, is used as the base for a batch of popular third-party web-browsers, including web stalwart Opera and developer-minded newcomer Vivaldi.
By creating a ‘Chromium for Android’ mobile developers will now be able to build new mobile browsers and web experiences using a robust and performant source code.
Expect a batch of new Chromium-based browsers to land in the Play Store over the coming months, some offering more substantial user experience changes than others.
In the short term there’s still plenty of clean up to be done by the Chrome devs, They intend to spend the next few weeks simplifying the code just landed so that it is easier for developers to sift through, modify and build with.
Want to get started? Check out this link for more information on building Chromium on Android.