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Apple is finally allowing full versions of Chrome and Firefox to run on the iPhone

An illustration of the Apple logo.
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

With iOS 17.4, Apple is making a number of huge changes to the way its mobile operating system works in order to comply with new regulations in the EU. One of them is an important product shift: for the first time, Apple is going to allow alternative browser engines to run on iOS — but only for users in the EU.

Since the beginning of the App Store, Apple has allowed lots of browsers but only one browser engine: WebKit. WebKit is the technology that underpins Safari, but it’s far from the only engine on the market. Google’s Chrome is powered by an engine called Chromium, which is the dominant engine by a wide margin — Edge, Brave, Arc, Opera, and many other browsers also run on Chromium. Mozilla’s Firefox runs on its own engine, called…

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