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Google Makes Chrome For Android More Open Source

May 21, 2015 - Written By Justin Diaz

Google has finally made most of Chrome for Android open source, making it more possible than ever for people to take the code from the Chrome for Android apps and use it to build their own browsers. Google states that making this possible took lots of hard work and some huge changes to make it all happen, but aspiring developers should now have an easier time being able to build chromium based browsers using the chrome_public_apk target. This could open up Android users to a world of new mobile browsers to play with, and that is certainly something to look forward to if there are any users who are looking for alternatives to Chrome for Android but like the base of its build.

This puts Chrome for Android more in line with the desktop version of Chrome which already has the open source Chromium project for developers to work off of, which has helped spawn a number of different browsers with a Chrome base but their own little tweaks and features. New Android browsers built off of the Chrome for Android code in the future will likely feel somewhat like Chrome minus some Google features which are still closed off from developers as well as codec support.

As of right now Chrome, Opera, Yandex and Samsung’s stock “Internet” browser are all built off of Chromium, so the list is sort of small right now but with time and effort from developers there should eventually be a larger list to work off of, giving Android users more choice for browsers to find one that truly resonates with what they want out of a browsing experience. One particularly popular trait that many seem to be looking for is a more privacy-minded browsing experience, and whether or not any of the browsers to be that are built using the new open source Chrome for Android code actually bring this to the table is still unknown, but users might find it appealing that there will at least, hopefully soon, be more options to choose from. Besides browsers that are built off of Chromium, there are already tons of other browser options in the Play Store, like Firefox, Dolphin browser and more, so there isn’t a shortage of browser choices as a whole.