Apple Allows Third Party Web Browsers Into The App Store [Updated]
In a sudden twist, Apple has allowed a slew of legitimate third party web browsers into the App Store. It appears that the apps were all queued into a single group awaiting approval from Apple, with original submission dates ranging all the way back to last October.
The following web browsers have been released so far:
- Edge Browser (Free) – No loss of screen real estate to the address or navigation bars.
- Incognito ($1.99) – Now you can browse without leaving a history of any kind.
- Shaking Web ($1.99) – adds a sophisticated algorithm to compensate for small hand shaking to allow for easier reading.
- WebMate:Tabbed Browser ($0.99) – Web Mate simplifies browsing by queuing up all the links you click on, then allowing you to view them one by one when you’re ready.
Speculation prior to this was that Apple wouldn’t allow other web browsers onto the iPhone as it would infringe on their Mobile Safari market share, as well as contradict their classic app-regection argument of not allowing apps that duplicate the functionality of one of their own.
It also opens the door for other big-name browsers like Firefox and Opera to try and get on the device, both of which we know are trying to do just that.
Update: It’s been brought to my attention that all of the third party browsers released are based on the same version of WebKit used by Mobile Safari, which means that they are all essentially the same browser at the core. Browsers like Firefox and Opera may still not stand a chance in the App Store approval process, as neither browser are WebKit-based.