So I got fed up of how slow and buggy Firefox is on Android, and decided to roll custom builds of Chromium instead, since I'm not satisfied with the feature set they offer. So far I have a patch to add DuckDuckGo to the search engine list.
Repo with the patches here : https://github.com/Streetwalrus/chromium-patches
I'll start uploading builds once I have more than that to offer and I'm fully set up for signed release mode builds (and also once I figure out how to debug it since I'm gonna need that to screw around more).
Does this require rooting?
No, you don't need root, you just need to enable installing unofficial apks. Eiyeron is running a copy I sent him and he doesn't have root.
The goal here is to keep the browser simple and fast while adding a few interesting features like sharing images from the long press menu, showing the title attribute (hover text) in this menu, allowing to open links in the background from other applications, possibly Firefox sync integration (I want to keep Firefox on my PC), built in ad blocking, removing some animations that slow down browsing more than smoothing it... These should improve browsing experience, I've been using these features in Firefox for a while and I really miss them in chrome.
Edit: just made the context menu slightly more useful.
Now instead of prioritizing the link URL over the title text, it will show title, link and source depending on whether they're available. Works on images inside links too (second screenshot).
First public build here : https://sr.ht/1Sy7.zip
Have fun (or not).
Nice update. My concern, though, is will the engine be updated even with this installed? While some of those new features are nice, I don't really want to stay a few browser engine versions behind and risk having troubles with pages no longer displaying properly. Or do you plan to update your stuff everytime?
I'm syncing to the last known good revision of the development branch so it's actually far ahead of what's available in the play store (iirc even more so than the chrome dev app).
Oh that's good, then. I wasn't sure if you did that since certain people are often versions behind in their software forks or whatever.
Yeah, the only thing I'm doing is that instead of using the very latest commit, I'm using LKGR, which is the most recent revision known to build and run.
New build based on Snapdragon Web Engine (https://www.codeaurora.org/xwiki/bin/Chromium+for+Snapdragon/WebHome), supposedly faster, has some extra niceties and a built in adblocker. Haven't figured out how to enable that yet, will post a new build when I do.
This build is not compatible with the previous versions, it will be installed as a separate app. Also note that this one does not support syncing with your Google account for whatever reason. If I find a way to enable it again then I'll do it.
Is the web engine fully compliant with standards and compatible with CW and other sites?
Yeah, it's still Chromium, the difference is that they added some optimizations specific to the Snapdragon family of processors and it's built using GCC which is supposedly better at optimizing than Clang, though don't quote me on that. It's very usable and it's fast, I use it as my main and only browser on my phone.
Could you provide apks? I don't really feel like compiling chromium on my current box, and I can't find it on the app store..
I dropped the project, upstream Chrome + rooted phone does what I need now.