Google Shifts Chrome for iOS to Apple’s WKWebView, Reducing Crashes by 70%

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jan 27, 2016.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Google today introduced a few stability and performance improvements into its Chrome for iOS app, mainly centering around the company's switch from in-process rendering with UIWebView to out-of-process rendering thanks to WKWebView. Tests by Google proved the new update reduces the app's crash rate by 70 percent, letting users pick up where they left off on a page from any device without a crash causing issues.

    For the web, Google also created a new extension called "Data Saver," that will allow Chrome users the ability to manage data usage while outside of their home Wi-Fi. Similar in function to the extension available for Android devices, Data Saver reduces the data needed to access the web with the help of the company's "compression technology." The extension lets users see exactly how much data they saved and highlight which websites are using the most while out of the house.

    Google said that the iOS Chrome update will begin rolling out starting today, and all users have to do is check for the update in the App Store [Direct Link] if they don't feel like waiting for an automatic update.

    Article Link: Google Shifts Chrome for iOS to Apple's WKWebView, Reducing Crashes by 70%
  2. clauzzz203 macrumors 6502

    Sep 18, 2012
    So they are still using a skin over iOS Safari but instead of the second-most-obsolete release of Safari, it’s now just the obsolete version of Safari

    Edit, actually the desktop version’s WebKit core comes from an Apple open source project, so it’s fitting
  3. mdridwan47 macrumors 6502


    Jan 20, 2014
    Good move Google. Now I might actually use it.
  4. benz240 macrumors regular

    Dec 25, 2008
    Now, just fix Chrome for OSX and we might have a story
  5. Studioman macrumors regular


    Jun 17, 2015
    I'm wondering why the only major article on wkwebview which is a year and a half old and has been in safari since iOS 8 is when Google finally decides to use it. Odd on an Apple fan page.
  6. ck2875, Jan 27, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2016

    ck2875 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 25, 2009
    When I updated it said that due to this switch that the Data Saver, "Do Not Track", and Cookie options were no longer available due to limitations on Apple's WKWebView.

    While that makes sense for Data Saver, I feel like that is just Google being Google and wanting to track the F out of you with removing the "Do Not Track" & cookie options. Perhaps I'm wrong though.

    Edit: Here's the Google Support Page that says it...

  7. viachicago22 macrumors 6502


    Sep 20, 2013
    So forgive my technological ignorance, but I understand that all third party browsers for iOS have always been slower than Safari due to restrictions from Apple that I don't fully understand. Does this change mean that Chrome could now rival Safari for speed?
  8. Traverse macrumors 604


    Mar 11, 2013
    The biggest feature that keep see bound to Safari is Reading List. I don't know how many people here use it, but I've used it every day since Safari 5.1! Right now I have about 100 articles. Yes, there are third party services that can do this or you can even save them in a Bookmark folder for later, but with Safari it's built in!

    As long as Reading List remains a Safari-only feature*, I'll use Safari for personal browsing and Chrome for business-related stuff.

    *I believe Microsoft Edge has a similar feature now
  9. dor.pnhs macrumors newbie

    Sep 21, 2012
    Because it is major regardless the Google-Apple competition.
    The real question is why it took a long time to google to release it.
  10. Mrjoedot macrumors regular

    Dec 29, 2012
    Asean market
    Not going to reduce RAM efficiency usage I see....
  11. leftynaut macrumors member

    Nov 10, 2009
    Does this mean that ios9 content blockers will now work with Chrome?
  12. KALLT macrumors 601

    Sep 23, 2008
    Basically, developers have to use Apple’s APIs to write their apps. For web content, Apple provides the UIWebView class and the WKWebView class since iOS 8. The problem with these is that they were never meant for creating fully-fledged browsers, but for showing web content within apps. Safari likely uses a lot more functionality than Apple exposes through these two classes, so third-party browsers can simply never compete effectively.

    Nope. Only Safari and the new SFSafariViewController class. The latter cannot be meaningfully used for a browser apps.
  13. atrevers macrumors regular


    May 24, 2007
    Not quite that simple - Chrome for the desktop now uses Blink, a forked version of WebCore, which is the rendering library component of WebKit. Google themselves have been the largest contributor to WebKit since 2009.
  14. Glassed Silver macrumors 68020

    Glassed Silver

    Mar 10, 2007
    Kassel, Germany
    On iOS the only thing that keeps me invested in Safari is the integration with my Mac and that it's a system default.

    On OS X Safari wins usually, but I encountered several annoyances with it recently and before, which tempts me to make the switch eventually.
    As I'm on a desktop computer there's no worrying about battery life as well. (something that Google will likely fix eventually anyways, as a lot of Google employees actually use Macs themselves and likely get sick and tired of this too... At least I'd hope so. Guess it's not an easy fix as it might involve some fundamental changes to the engine.)

    Glassed Silver:mac
  15. ericg301 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 15, 2010

    biggest reason i switched back to safari when ios 9 came out. didnt realize how much better the mobile web could be with content blockers.
  16. C DM macrumors Westmere

    Oct 17, 2011
    I recall reading somewhere at one point that the transition wasn't a trivial one at all and basically required more or less quite a bit of a rewrite. There were some things that weren't available or easily done with the new view that seemingly needed time to be worked out.
  17. ericg301 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 15, 2010
    i dont know why Google Now isn't part of Chrome. Or at least an option to set it as your home page
  18. captain cadet macrumors 6502

    Sep 2, 2012
    The way it drinks battery is incredible with one tab open - I can have 10 tabs in safari and it would use less energy than 1 tab in chrome
  19. WordMasterRice macrumors 6502a

    Aug 3, 2010
    Upstate NY
    This is more or less correct. WKWebView has a lot of limitations compared to UIWebView from an API standpoint, especially when it came out. I tried to adapt one of my apps to it and it just wasn't possible at the time.
  20. amro macrumors 6502

    Jul 7, 2008
    Digg seems a hell of a lot better. Scrolling was jumpy at best and Chrome would crash almost every time I used it.
  21. Northgrove macrumors 65816

    Aug 3, 2010
    Good to hear! Finally on Safari parity as for the engine.
  22. JTravers macrumors 6502a

    Jun 28, 2010
    Some reasons....
  23. sudo1996 Suspended


    Aug 21, 2015
    Berkeley, CA, USA
    Yeah, Chrome idling uses a ton of energy. I have no idea why exactly. It's a horribly bloated browser.

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