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Apple now allowing browser type apps - if loosely based on Safari

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In the last day or two, Apple has started approving quite a few “new” browsers in the app store, seeming to contradict their long-standing “duplication of functionality” prohibition. The catch? They’re all Safari at heart in reality, which makes this good but not great news.



The chromeless Edge, vibration-countering Shaking Web, privacy-inclined Incognito and enhanced-tab WebMate browsers all claim functionality that you can’t get with Mobile Safari, but they’re all based on Safari’s version of WebKit. In a sense, they’re like browser addons or extensions, but which can only run one at a time and as completely separate apps.

This isn’t an entirely new concept, as many iPhone apps already call on Safari’s rendering engine to display content. The difference now is that these browsers are marketed as browsers, and could serve as total replacements for the stock app that comes with the iPhone.

The approvals do represent some leniency in Apple’s app approval policies, but don’t necessarily mean that the company is moving any closer to approving browsers based on a different engine, namely Opera Mobile and Firefox. They are still (and probably always will be) very strict about not allowing these in the App Store.

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1 Comments:

At April 9, 2009 at 5:41 AM, Blogger Stephen said...

Lookmarks from www.globalpandarepublic.com was just released. It gives screenshots of your bookmarks with an integrated browser.

 

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