Android Central

The Internet's in a bit of a tizzy this morning over reports from a Korean news that Samsung has begun development of its own WebKit-based mobile browser, to be used in future smartphones. ETNews reports that Samsung's browser will be offered as an alternative to Google Chrome on mobile. WebKit, of course, is the open-source software at the core of many mobile and desktop browsers, including Chrome, the native Android browser, and Safari. Today's report says Samsung has recruited several "WebKit professionals" in order to accelerate its browser efforts. The project is said to be based out of the Samsung Information Systems America R&D Center in Silicon Valley.

While this would be a fairly noteworthy development, it's not as big a deal as you might think. Google has been pushing Chrome as the default browser for Android for a while now, and it comes pre-loaded on upcoming phones like the RAZR M and RAZR HD, as well as Samsung's own Galaxy Camera. Samsung's already shown that it wants to foster its own ecosystem rather than relying on Google's. Competing Samsung and Google services are numerous -- Music Hub versus Play Music, Video Hub versus Play Videos and TV, Samsung Apps versus Play Store. So with Google taking the initiative to push Chrome center stage, a reaction from Samsung was only natural.

But today's news is only a natural progression of the work Samsung's been doing on its own native Android browser for the past several years. If you examine the bundled browser on a Samsung phone, you'll find it's quite far from the stock Android browser. Samsung was the first to introduce tiled rendering on Android in the Galaxy S2, and on the Galaxy S3 it offered its own unique tab control and power saving options. Other Android OEMs have done the same, so in a way they all have their own mobile browsers. And with Chrome replacing the stock browser as the default on Android handsets, we wouldn't be terribly surprised to see the likes of HTC and LG follow a similar path.

It's possible Samsung might be developing its browser from the ground up, based upon WebKit, though today's article is light on technical details like this. What we think is more likely is that we'll find Samsung's own S Browser, based upon the speedy stock Jelly Bean browser, made available alongside Chrome on future Samsung Android handsets. And really, that's not all that different from the way things work right now.

Source: ETNews, via SamMobile


Reader comments

Samsung reportedly developing its own mobile browser, just as it always has done


So long as they don't start trying to develop their own map app, I'll be fine. We all know how that turns out :)

ha!. Maps wouldn't matter anyway, you could always download the GMap and set it as default.. That's what I love about Android, you can replace system apps for whatever you want.

Samsung's browser was one of the first to bring hardware acceleration to Android.. Stock Touchwiz browser in Gingerbread was incredibly fast.

These types of developments IMO are geared for the NEW users to a platform who want that "Everything under one roof" aspect to a phone.

We shall see.

I like Samsung less and less each day. They try to differentiate themselves but they end up with half backed products that suck. If they continue its going keep making the fragmentation worse till the point where app developers are going to be turned off by Android or should I say Samdroid. Android works because there is choice on hardware for different budgets and needs but it also works because there Is compatibility and the abilitty to communicate across devices. It can't survive with everyone trying to be like Amazon with the new kindles.

I've been screaming about this for ages.

Samsung is basically the only Android company that can move phones. If Samsung were to develop their own app store, they could basically tell Google to go away and take over Android. (yes, they would have to strike deals with people like Nokia to use their maps until they made their own, but ... that's nothing).

They're using web-kit. Thank god. As long as its based on web-kit, it won't turn into another internet explorer. And this could be a positive thing as they probably have a plan on how to incorporate it with the rest of their app offerings and make something unique actually.

Just another reason they'll take even longer to update new operating system releases. Thesse companies need to decide if they want to be phone companies or software companies. Splitting their resources and doing a half ass job at both only hurts their reps. People want more stock experiences and faster upgrades. Taking a year to move from ice cream to jelly bean is too long. And noe they are making it even longer.

Good point. But put yourself in Samsung shoe. If you're just another hardware company, HTC is another hardware company, Motorola is another hardware company. What makes a user get or differentiate one from another?

Waste of money. Instead they should spend this money (and other redundant crap they develop for Android) on better quality enclosures (look at Nokia or even HTC for examples).

I always hated redundant work especially when the end result is WORSE than they product they are trying to replace.