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Google’s Chromium dev team is about to go against Apple’s rules for iOS browser development.

This week Apple Insider reported that Google’s Chromium team is working on developing a new browser for iOS based on Blink, instead of using Webkit as mandated by App Store policies.

The Google Chromium developers are reportedly working on a web browser for iOS that uses Chromium’s own Blink browser engine, the report says. The “content_shell iOS port” referred to in Chromium bug reports is an internal-only application, according to Google, who say it is intended for testing graphics and input latencies. Indeed, the Chromium team stresses that at this time the browser is “experimental only,” and it is currently not intended to be “a shippable product.”

In fact, a Google spokesperson told Apple Insider that the project is “prototype that we are developing as part of an open source project with the goal to understand certain aspects of performance on iOS. It will not be available to users, and we’ll continue to abide by Apple’s policies.”

Apple is under pressure to relax its grip on iOS apps

Apple has been criticized for its browser restrictions, which many say are designed to make every browser look like Safari. Apple has gatekeeping and monetary powers that impede the development of other native platform apps for iOS, they say.

Indeed, Apple’s authority came under attack recently from the US National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), which has just issued a report calling for changes to the mobile app ecosystem to promote competition.

In addition, European regulators like the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority as well as other content providers have called for antitrust action against the US tech giant. What’s more, the European Digital Markets Act (DMA) is set to force Apple to allow third-party app stores and perhaps to alter its WebKit requirement.

For users, this seems to be all good news. Thanks to the combination of pressure from regulators and product development from Google, we may soon see real alternatives to Safari available in the App Store.