For years now, the team behind the aftermarket Android ROM, CyanogenMod, have been adding new features and apps. Many of these features, such as the famous quick toggle settings made their way into popular smartphones and then into Android itself. Theme support was – and still is – something that CyanogenMod was known for, and manufacturers like Sony, HTC and Samsung have all adopted the idea for themselves in recent releases. Now though, the CyanogenMod team is looking to take on the mobile browser, bringing users one more choice in the form of ‘Gello’, powered by the open source Chromium project that feeds into Google’s Chrome browser.
Joey Rizzoli, a CyanogenMod team member appears to have been working on hard on the new project, and he recently took to Google+ to show off the new project before the code is merged. Many browsers these days are powered by the Chromium project’s rendering engine, including Opera as well as Google Chrome, so it makes sense that the CyanogenMod team would want to work with the code already available. Across two posts, Rizzoli shows off the new browser in a short, then longer video, showing off what looks very much like Google Chrome. Of course, this is still early days, and there’s no telling just where Gello – if it ends up being officially named Gello – ends up going after the initial release.
Despite the fact that Chrome has now become the go-to browser for the majority of Android users, the likes of HTC and Samsung continue to include their own web browsers. As Cyanogen signs up more device partners, it’s a smart move to include their own browser. To those that thing this latest move is another that ‘CyanogenMod hates Google’, Rizzoli says that “you’ll always be free to choose to install your GApps package alongside with CyanogenMod and repace all the CyanogenMod apps you don’t like/use with Google’s”. There are already plenty of other choices for web browsers in the Play Store, including Mozilla’s Firefox which uses its own rendering engine, and takes a different approach to Google’s own. As the internet has become such a big part of our lives, having one more choice of web browser doesn’t sound like a bad idea.