Russia's Yandex combines Chromium and Opera code for new browser

The web services firm says the browser, due for release later on Monday, will offer users fast loading and enhanced security. It has also unveiled an alternative Android app store, which it is offering to operators and manufacturers as part of a suite of non-Google web services.
Written by David Meyer, Contributor

Russia's largest search company, Yandex, has unveiled a new browser that effectively combines elements of Chrome and Opera.

Yandex already had its own rebadged iteration of Chromium, the open-source project underpinning Google's Chrome. The new browser, unveiled on Monday, combines a Chromium-based user interface with the WebKit engine and Opera's Turbo technology, which compresses webpages to allow for faster loading on poor connections.

Other notable features include machine-automated translation and Kaspersky Labs's safe-browsing technology.

"We have built a cloud-based browser that integrates the best of our products and services and is open to other web developers," Yandex chief Arkady Volozh said in a statement.

The Yandex release comes just days after a key rival in Russia, Mail.ru, pushed out its own browser, Amigo, which is also based on Chromium code. In both cases, the companies are trying to drive users to their various web services, although Yandex is making great play of the fact that each query through the URL/search bar can be carried out through a different search provider.

Alternative app store for Android

Alongside the browser news, Yandex announced on Monday that is has set up an "alternative app store" for Android users. Together, the moves demonstrate how the Russian company hopes to profit from Google-sponsored technology.

The marketplace, named Yandex.Store, will be offered to operators and smartphone and tablet manufacturers as part of a package that takes in other Yandex services. These include mail, search and maps, as well as a 3D user interface called Yandex.Shell.

Yandex said it has "preliminary agreements" with manufacturers PocketBook, Texet and 3Q for pre-installation of the store with their products. It also said operator MegaFon has already agreed to base its own-branded app marketplace on a white-label version of Yandex.Store. Developers are being encouraged to submit their apps now, for launch at the end of October.

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