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Apple Loosens Up 3rd Party Web Browser Restrictions in App Store [U]

MacRumors has noticed that over the past 24 hours Apple has allegedly begun loosening up its restrictions that prevent third party web browsers from residing in the App Store.

Apple has already made it publicly known that applications duplicating original iPhone functionality will most likely not make it through the iPhone App Store approval process. Third party web browsers like Opera Mini and Mozilla Fennec have been given no shot at being distributed in the app store, let alone run on Apple’s iPhone.

Here’s a list of recently accepted browsers:
- Edge Browser (Free) – No loss of screen real estate to the address or navigation bars.
- Incognito ($1.99) – Now you can browse without leaving a history of any kind.
- WebMate:Tabbed Browser ($0.99) – Web Mate simplifies browsing by queuing up all the links you click on, then allowing you to view them one by one when you’re ready.
- Shaking Web ($1.99) – adds a sophisticated algorithm to compensate for small hand shaking to allow for easier reading.

First of all, the browsers that are being allowed aren’t as full fledged, or feature packed as Opera’s or Mozilla’s, but it may be a step in the right direction. Any loosening up of app store restrictions being done on Apple’s side is surely welcomed given it applies to real-world scenarios. Still, some fundamental SDK issues and restrictions arise when referring to such predominant browsers like Opera Mini and Fennec.

Updates: As expected, all of these browsers are based on Safari’s WebKit, so the predominant competing browsers still have no chance.

Comments [3]

3 Comments to “Apple Loosens Up 3rd Party Web Browser Restrictions in App Store [U]

Strich @ January 15th, 2009 at 8:47 am
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Does anyone know if these browsers will allow for manipulation of Google software (google docs, for instance). I know there is incompatability between Safari and Google software. I didn’t know if this was now working with any of these browsers.


Aviv @ January 15th, 2009 at 8:49 am
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Hey Strich, unfortunately.. Any bugs that you’ll find in Google Docs in Safari, you’ll find in any other webkit based browser. Each web browser is built upon an engine (Safar-Webkit : Firefox-Gecko : Internet Explorer-Puke).. So, any browser that is developed “on top of” the webkit engine will still most likely have the same issues that Safari does.


Strich @ January 15th, 2009 at 10:29 am
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Thanks Aviv