Browser realpolitik

If you didn’t think Google’s move to fork Webkit with its own engine Blink wasn’t going to make things a little messy on the browser front, think again.

That’s because – as I wrote for this week’s weekly update – the Webkit power-center mainly revolves around Apple now, and now, given Google’s move, the Webkit folks are looking to do a little house – or rather code – cleaning.

The email is from a software engineer at Apple, and it shows how Google’s move has already started to push the camps – and code bases – farther apart. While the initial target may be only code that is specifically for Chromium, as The Register points out, there are inevitably going to be those Webkit developers who rely on Google specific code like the V8 Javascript engine.

Long term, things will get messier and slightly confusing for companies as the balkanization around browser code continues. Just as Samsung could potentially be hurt by the removal of the V8 Javascript engine, just consider that they are also in bed with Mozilla for a next-gen browser engine themselves.

Bottom line, all of these bigger companies will have to manage multiple browser engines across multiple product lines in coming years until things shake out.  But, just as with politics, it seems all the big players are working behind the scenes in a game of browser realpolitik to gain an upper hand down the road.

Mozilla rolls out a social API

Mozilla rolled out a new social API that brings social services like Facebook Messenger directly into the browser itself.

Social browser RockMelt launches iPad browser+reading app

RockMelt, a startup co-founded by Tim Howes & Eric Vishria burst on the browser scene two years ago with a social browser. Today the company is launching a brand new iPad app that marries browser and a reader. It is part of company’s growing focus on mobile.

Should you use Kindle’s new read-it-later feature?

Amazon launched a “Send to Kindle” extension for Google Chrome that lets users send articles to their Kindle. Other services, like Pocket and Instapaper, can do the same thing. Which one should you use?

Google Chrome watch: no Flash; just the time

Now that Google has brought its Chrome browser to desktops, laptops, Chromebooks (remember those?) and, just today, to Android 4.0 tablets and smartphones, where will Chrome appear next? For $60, it can be on your wrist, but don’t expect to browse for anything but the time.

Video: Chrome for Android is faster and feature full

Google merged its Chrome browser with Android today and I’m thrilled to see it. The Chrome beta is fast and it has a clean interface. If you’re a Chrome user on the desktop, Chrome for Android can open whatever webpage you’re browsing on the PC.

Chrome browser finally comes to Android

Google’s Chrome browser and Android mobile operating system went public in the same year but they haven’t converged until now. Google is finally introducing Chrome for Android, a robust beta with a lot of slick features which is limited to Android 4.0 devices.

Hey Google — you can’t have your cake and eat it too

Controversy over a Google marketing program for Chrome that involves spammy web content and the removal of an “offensive” Google+ avatar photo reinforce how hard it is for the search giant to run multiple businesses without tripping over itself and its own guidelines.

Guess who is WebKit’s new best friend

WebKit technology is what powers some of the top browsers (especially mobile) today. While Apple and Google are its most visible champions, the support for WebKit and ancillary technologies is coming from unlikely quarters such as Amazon and Boxee. Here’s its new BFF.