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Chrome Android Google Handhelds Open Source Software

Chrome For Android Is Now Almost Entirely Open Source 51

jones_supa writes: After lots of work by Chrome for Android team and a huge change, Chrome for Android is now almost entirely open source, a Google engineer announced in Reddit. Over 100,000 lines of code, including 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. Licensing restrictions prevent certain media codecs, plugins and Google service features form being included, hence the "almost." This is on par with the open source Chromium browser that is available on the desktop.
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Chrome For Android Is Now Almost Entirely Open Source

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  • It means it's closed source!
    • Re:Almost? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Friday May 22, 2015 @02:53PM (#49753421) Homepage

      It means it's closed source!

      Missing codecs: AAC, H.264, MP3
      Missing plug-in: flash

      So either patents or not their code, if you got a good solution for that I'm sure Google would like to hear it.

      • It means it's closed source!

        Missing codecs: AAC, H.264, MP3
        Missing plug-in: flash

        So either patents or not their code, if you got a good solution for that I'm sure Google would like to hear it.

        Exclude that shit, and Google's other "service features" shit.
        Allow users to install those as plugins if they wish.

        TADA!!!!!!!

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        So basically all the crappy bits you don't want on mobile anyway are missing. What a shame.

  • by Ultra64 ( 318705 ) on Friday May 22, 2015 @02:24PM (#49753207)

    Does this mean someone will enable extension support?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Can we expect the Chromium browser in F-droid now?
    That would be fantastic!

    • Fennec FDroid [f-droid.org] seems to work fine for me, I'm not sure what I would get from Chromium Android that I don't already get from this. (Not saying chromium shouldn't be included too, if it's feasible, just not sure it'd be any better than what's already available).
  • Can someone finally put the setting to disallow third-party cookies back?

  • by allquixotic ( 1659805 ) on Friday May 22, 2015 @03:07PM (#49753537)

    I think the mainline Chrome for Android will never support extensions because they want to avoid opening up the "Pandora's Box" that will eventually lead to one of the popular adblockers showing up for Chrome on Android. And since they have such a huge installed base of phones running Chrome, there is a huge financial incentive for them to disallow adblocking extensions for Chrome.

    Now that it's open source, I would be greatly appreciative if someone could work on a version of Chrom(ium/e) for Android that has either extensions support, or built-in support for AdBlock-style blocking (i.e., don't even make the HTTP request if the URL or DOM element matches a pattern).

    I want the (admittedly superior) performance of the optimized Blink layout engine and V8 JS engine, which no other browsers (that also offer extensions or ad-blocking built-in) offer; I also want the Google-specific blobs (Chromecast in particular); and I want/need AdBlock. Lacking this, I just end up using Firefox for Android, which has decent performance but not great, and has several site compatibility issues that Chrome doesn't for some reason.

    It'd be awesome to see an adblocking fork of Chrome have a larger number of users than "mainline" Chrome.

    • Are you using AdBlock Plus for Firefox or uBlock [github.com]? ABP might be a little too intensive for a mobile CPU and you might be better served with uBlock on your phone. I personally use uBlock on Firefox for Android and I don't have any performance issues, but that's just me.

      • I switched over to uBlock about a month and a half ago, and it didn't noticeably improve performance. Chrome just renders the page faster. I have no idea how. It's magic. And when I say Chrome is faster, I mean it's faster *with ads* than Firefox *without ads*. You'd think the one that has less network and drawing work to do would be faster. A few string comparisons is nothing next to the amount of work that needs to be done to actually load those ads.

        I'm using a Note 4, so there is ample CPU and RAM.

    • If you use hosts based blocking you end up nuking 99% of what you hit with using a typical browser. Best of all it also stops crappy little ads in apps, reduces your phone's data usage, and no need for extensions.

  • Well, get back to us when it's entirely open source, otherwise this is non-news. That's like a news crew reporting that the Leaning Tower of Pisa is almost falling down.

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