A French company is suing Apple to open the iPhone to rival browsing engines


Apple should be forced to allow other browsers to execute code, the suit alleges.

A French maker of open-source software said Friday it is suing Apple in an effort to get the company to make iOS more supportive of Web standards.

Nexedi is suing Apple under French law in hopes it can force Apple to allow rival browsing engines onto the iPhone.

Although Apple allows rival browser apps, such as Google’s Chrome, on to the iPhone, they all have to use Apple’s Web rendering engine. That means the ability to draw on the latest Web standards is is limited to whatever Apple decides to include.

That means some newer technologies, like the WebM video standard and the WebRTC protocol for real-time communications, can’t be made to work in an iOS browser even though they work in nearly all other browsers.

“We hope [this lawsuit] will help Apple to sooner support the latest Web and HTML5 standards on its iOS platform — the operating system used by all iPhones,” Nexedi said in a blog post, which also explains the more granular details of how technology works and what needs to change, in their estimation.

Things have gotten a little better for developers in recent years. At least Apple no longer requires third-party browsers to use a slower engine than the one used by its own Safari, something it did until iOS 8.

But Nexedi says the mobile version of Safari lags behind Apple’s desktop version as well as other browsers in adhering to HTML5 and other standards.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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