Android Web Browser

When thinking of Android there has always been a Browser. This Browser generally did not have a name other than Browser on it. The Android Browser started with Android milestone 3 and was very basic (Amadeo, 2016). Its homepage was coded to look similar to an older Google.com (Amadeo, 2016). This browser did not support things like tabs (Amadeo, 2016). It continued to develop for some time though. The browser was discontinued in favor of Chrome in Android Kit Kat (Llascu, 2015). You can still get the browser on the newest Android devices but there have not been security updates for some time. Since Android has discontinued the use of this browser system it is hard to find information about it. Nevertheless, I know that the Android browser as well as many other browsers was originally based on WebKit and then updated to Blink (LeBar, 2011).

WebKit originated from KHTML which was part of the KDE which is an open source desktop for Unix-like operating systems. Apple took the source code for KHTML and created WebCore (Lebar, 2011). In 2005, they created WebKit as a combination of WebCore and JavaScriptCore (Lebar, 2011). WebKit is an open source project spearheaded by Apple. Since then many browsers such as some version of Chrome and Konqueror as well as Android Browser have been created using WebKit. WebKit renders webpages for browsers; it’s not the graphical interface but it does affect how the pages are displayed for consumers. Having WebKit makes it easier for browser designers to create their branded browser.

Blink was created in 2013 by Google when it forked Webkit (Lardinois, 2013). Forking is the idea of taking source code from one project and you modify it as your own without the intention of bringing those modifications back to the original software. In other words, the original software keeps existing and the new software blazes its own trail based on the old software. Eventually, the two sources will no longer look like each other because they are trying to have their own individual personalities. Blink is now used for Google’s Chrome and Chromium browsers and any other browsers based off of those two. Blink continues to be an open source project as well but with Google’s support and branding.

From my research, I learned that WebKit was originally created by Apple to compete with Microsoft and by default Google but with Google’s clever use of open source software they have now turned WebKit on its head and are using it to compete with Apple and Microsoft products.

Amadeo - Oct 31, 2016 1:15 pm UTC, R. (2016, October 31). The (updated) history of Android. Retrieved February 27, 2017, from https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2016/10/building-android-a-40000-word-history-of-googles-mobile-os/ Lebar, Z. (2011, July 25). The History of WebKit. Retrieved February 27, 2017, from http://web.appstorm.net/general/opinion/the-history-of-webkit/ Llascu, L. (2015, May 19). Address Bar Spoofing Vulnerability Affects Chrome for Android - Updated. Retrieved February 27, 2017, from http://news.softpedia.com/news/Address-Bar-Spoofing-Vulnerability-Affects-Chrome-for-Android-481642.shtml