Mobile Browsers

We surveyed the two most prominent and widely used mobile browsers, Android's Chrome and iOS's Safari, both of which are the default browsers of their respective operating systems, as they are browsers users have most likely used. Despite neither having native P2P capabilities, we surveyed these browsers to understand the mobile users' first stop on the internet and how they may think about sharing from there, which is very different than on the desktop.

‌It is important to note that neither Chrome or Safari has support for extensions or add-ons as they do on the desktop. This lack of support is significant because it may hamper development on the browser as a platform, which otherwise is popular and well supported on the desktop. Extensions would allow bringing P2P directly to mobile potentially much more straightforward. ‌Some mobile browsers do support extensions and could then support IPFS or P2P extensions more efficiently, such as Mozilla Firefox for Android.

In terms of mobile browser P2P support, the Cliqz browser has experimental support for the DAT protocol, and Opera Mobile now supports IPFS. Both of these implementations, however, support reading of P2P files and content, not sharing.

‌Having an app on the phone would mean that sharing via IPFS could be done from the browser as well as other apps via the native share menus in both iOS and Android.