Following the Chrome for Android team’s announcement on Reddit AMA last week, Google has now uploaded the remaining Chrome for Android source code to its Chromium repository. This would let any developer build an open source browser based on Chrome for Android.
The announcement came via Reddit where a Chrome for Android engineer posted, “After lots of work by Chrome for Android team and a huge change, Chrome for Android is now almost entirely open source. It now matches Chrome desktop and you can build a Chromium browser by building chrome_public_apk target.” The “almost entirely” bit mentioned by the engineer is referring to the licensing restrictions such as media codecs and some native Google features.
The change to open source would now let developers make Chromium-based browsers work on Android much easily, or in other words, be able to customise Chrome for Android into another product. This would also result in improved and new Android browsers from third-party developers. The developers can also include their own unique features in the browser.
For those unaware, Chromium project is the set of code behind the Google Chrome browser, which has always been open source. Some of the desktop browsers based on Chromium are Flock, Opera, and Yandex.