updated 01:20 am EDT, Tue August 23, 2011
Attempt to reduce confusion, improve code
Google is turning to the WebKit community to create a more functional, Chromium-like browser for the Android platform, TechCrunch reports. The project will involve removing a previous but incomplete Android port of WebKit and all Android-specific code out of the existing browser, which shares a codebase with Chrome (the company's full-fledged WebKit-based browser) but is developed by a separate team. The new browser will be entirely open-sourced, a change in direction.
The announcement was made on the WebKit-Dev group that Google's Android team would begin work on a new Android browser based on WebKit and more closely working with the WebKit community. Though the Android browser shares a lot of code with Chrome, it is not branded as such -- and the new one will more closely resemble Chromium, in that it will be fully open and not carry some of the elements of the Chrome browser that Google adds to the WebKit engine that runs both projects.
Google's Andrei Popescu was quoted in the report as saying that the team will begin by creating a "build bot" that will automatically "compile Chromium's DRT for Android using the Android NDK, SDK and toolchain," and referred to the project as "a new flavor" of the Chromium port of WebKit. No timeline was given for when the new browser might enter the development and testing channels. [via TechCrunch]