Print 39 comment(s) - last by Dark Legion.. on Jan 14 at 10:13 PM

Apple is finally allowing browsers, like those shown here, on the iPhone. Wondering why you've never heard of any of them? Apple is only allowing third party browsers based on its Safari webkit, which means no Firefox, Opera, or Chrome.
Apple opens gate to independent software companies to publish browsers with a significant catch

Since the App Store for the iPhone and iPod Touch debuted, it has been a runaway hit selling millions of apps and spawning an entirely new software industry.  However, Apple has developed a reputation over the course of last year as a bit of a dictator when it comes to the app store.  Apple was quick to shoot down any applications which it found offensive or which it felt might interfere with its own apps.  That meant competitive internet browsers or music players were less than welcome at the store.

When it comes to internet browsers, Apple has announced that it will finally be relenting, but only somewhat.  Apple is dropping its "duplication of functionality" clause, and as of yesterday has began to approve several "new" browsers that had been gathering dust the last couple months.

The catch -- and it’s a big one -- is that all the browsers it’s approving are based on Apple’s Safari.  For those expecting Firefox, Chrome, or Opera, you are in for a disappointment.

Meet Apple's new browsers:  there's the "Edge" browser, which is a plainer looking browser without Safari's chrome, there's the privacy inclined "Incognito", there's the vibration-countering "Shaking Web", and there's an enhanced tab browser "WebMate".  The apps are all built, though, on Safari's WebKit and are thus Apple-powered.

While it might seem like the new browsers are akin to Safari extensions, unlike extensions, they're considered fully fledged apps.  And that means you can only run one at a time.  Really, the new browsers aren't even that new in a sense as the NYT, AP, and USA Today apps all used the Safari WebKit to improve their functionality.

The only difference is that the change opens the door to new products which could, in a respect replace Apple's base product, the Safari browser.  While Apple will likely get a slice of the revenue if one of them takes off, it will be a smaller slice, and it will have less control. 

With many users reporting the stock Safari to be buggy and glitch-prone, the idea of independent developers being able to improve it, a la Firefox, is a welcome one to many.  Additionally, it seems like it will only be a matter of time before Firefox, Opera and others are fully allowed.  However, Apple is known to keep its users hoping in vain, so that's by no means a sure bet.

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RE: Closed systems FTW!
By Gzus666 on 1/14/2009 10:45:27 AM , Rating: 1

Well, if this comes to be I think I will cream my jeans.

Have to agree on VLC, great player with awesome codec support. Little buggy and could use a bit of polish, but solid for the most part. I have used WMP(I always revert to Mplayer2 cause I hate all the new flashy crap, I want to play movies, not wank it to the border of the player) forever and this is the first player I have found I prefer.

RE: Closed systems FTW!
By Dark Legion on 1/14/2009 10:54:17 AM , Rating: 3
If by "wank it" to the border of the player you mean where it tells you what you're playing on the sidebar, then in the new Win7 WMP you actually have the option to hide that.

RE: Closed systems FTW!
By Gzus666 on 1/14/2009 12:38:20 PM , Rating: 2
Nope, I mean the player is huge and has a lot of flashy crap I could really care less about in a player. Granted I haven't gone to the brand new versions, but why would I do that when Mplayer2 works fantastically without the mess? All I want in my player is the basic buttons, menu bar and the ability to play anything I want.

RE: Closed systems FTW!
By PhoenixKnight on 1/14/2009 2:03:29 PM , Rating: 2
I believe there's a plugin or something for WMP 9 or 10 that allows you to put a minimal version on your taskbar, with just the basic buttons. My brother uses it in windows XP, but I've never used it myself, so I'm not sure how to do it.

“So far we have not seen a single Android device that does not infringe on our patents." -- Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith

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