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. 

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