As more smart mobile devices are being sold worldwide and mobile web traffic is on the rise, the mobile browsers battle is also hitting up accordingly. The competition is mainly being centered around the two most popular mobile operating systems- iOS and Android.
Recently, couple of interesting stories related to this arena have been published: The first suggests that Google will try to expand significantly its reach with a Chrome browser edition for iOS devices and the second is the launch of Firefox browser beta edition for Android devices.
Chrome For iOS Coming Soon
Macquarie Equities Research is reporting that Google is about to roll out, with authorization from Apple of course, a version of its Chrome browser for iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch). The firm suggesting that this move is very possible to happen in 2012 and possibly already during this quarter.
Macquarie predicts that after the giant success of Chrome for desktop computers, there’s a big chance it will also occur in the mobile arena as well, which will obviously reinforce tremendously Google’s mobile state. However, my personal opinion about this case is not necessarily to follow after historical patterns so easily.
The mobile landscape today is very different than the desktop arena five years ago and certainly 10-15 years ago, so the comparison is pretty flawed to begin with. Another thing to bear in mind is that even if Chrome will be available for iOS, Safari will remain the default browser. Meaning that all links from other apps will still open on the Safari browser.
That said, for Google it could turn to be a successful move even if it will attract just a small portion of mobile users. Currently, Google and Apple are splitting the profits that comes when users are searching through the Safari’s Google search box. With Chrome for iOS, Google will keep all the profits for itself.
If Apple will eventually decline to authorize the use of Chrome for iOS, the old legal battle from the late 90′s of Microsoft Internet Explorer (where Microsoft lost) may repeat itself. But I’m pretty sure that Apple wouldn’t choose to take that path and will allow some breach in its walled garden.
Ironically enough, recently it was Microsoft that accused for blocking other browsers on its new upcoming version of Windows for tablets. Yes, again.
Firefox for Android Beta Available
Mozilla is also taking part in the rising mobile browser competition and after its version of Firefox for mobile didn’t managed to gain the same level of popularity the same as Firefox for desktop computers, yesterday it announced that the new Firefox for Android Beta is available for download so users can experiment with it and submit feedback.
The spotlighted feature of this new edition is definitely its “Awesome Screen” (Mozilla own words) which offers new supposedly exciting interface. Others important updates are the so-needed performance improvements and support for Adobe Flash (and other third party plugins). This version is available for Android 2.2 or higher but not for tablets yet (“soon” according to Mozilla post).
You can download it from Google Play.