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Google cut sync and other API for third party Chromium on March 15th


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Google plans to limit some of the Chrome APIs (features) that it includes inside Chromium starting March 15, 2021, making them unavailable for any other browser developed on top of the Chromium open-source codebase.

This doesn't only impact Chrome Sync but also other features such as the Chrome Spelling API, the Contacts API, the Chrome Translate Element, and many more.

All of these APIs are implemented inside the Chromium source code, the open-source skeleton that is at the base of the Chrome browser, and which Google open-sourced years ago.

Full article https://www.zdnet.com/article/google-cuts-off-other-chromium-based-browsers-from-its-sync-service/

Thoughts

Browser war to rule the net:
1 Develop Chromium, fill it with all Google APIs
2 Release the code for Chromium and turn Blink into a weaving standard
3 Sponsor selected ones (Mozilla, Apple ...) and share their user logs with them
4 Wait until everyone uses the Chromium code
5 Block the built-in APIs for anyone who doesn't use Chrome and doesn't have a Google account.

(Good that Vivaldi uses his own sysnc and can upload extensions outside from Chrome Store)

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Edited by Zerg Rush
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Google said today that it caught other Chromium-based browsers piggybacking on its infrastructure and abusing the Chrome Sync service to store their users' data, bookmarks, and browsing history on Google's servers, without approval.

I understand their reaction pretty well.

Basically, someone releases TheMegaBrowser with a feature "save stuff in cloud", which saves user's data on Google servers. After some time the browser gets some user base, which use TheMegaBrowser and give that company profit for its ads, but their data is stored on Google servers and Google pays the costs.

Judging from the article, Google only wants to block non-Chrome browsers from freely storing data on Google servers.

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1 hour ago, stgatilov said:

Judging from the article, Google only wants to block non-Chrome browsers from freely storing data on Google servers.

But that also includes Chromium itself, which Chrome basically is but with a few extra things bolted onto it + branding. So even Google's own browser won't be able to use the APIs if I understand it correctly.

It seems to potentially impact Linux users more since Chromium is FOSS. According to this guy, distro makers (or the people bundling Chromium for the distros) were given access rights to the API via keys back in 2013, so this is basically pulling the rug. Personally it doesn't affect me much since I only use Firefox on the desktop and Chrome on Android, but I can see why some Linux users who like Chromium because it's completely FOSS but still has Chrome sync features will now be annoyed.

A word of warning, Agent Denton. This was a simulated experience; real LAMs will not be so forgiving.

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It is expected how long Firefox can hold out, being also sponsored by Google. In the field of Blink with these measures, there will not be many left, apart from EDGE, which has its own services by MS, Opera, now in the hands of the Chinese, not nor does it inspire a lot of confidence regarding privacy, Brave, which can only synchronize Bookmarks and Vivaldi, which has all the functionalities and full synchronization and can do without Google APIs. 

This is why I am not surprised that Vivaldi is becoming more and more loved in the Linux community, even if it is not completely FOSS in the traditional sense (the source is open for audit, but some scripts have a patent to protect themselves against large companies, von Tetzchner does not want to repeat the negative experiences he had with Opera and protect the Vivaldi cooperative he created), some distros even include it as the default browser, for example Feren OS.

As you can see, monopolies in the network begin to cause problems, because they can lead to abuse. Anyway, it does not surprise me too, that the use of decentralized networks increases, Brave already has compatibility with IPFS networks (ipfs: // ....) and in Vivaldi it is also under discussion in future versions.

I've been using Vivaldi since version 1 for years and Firefox as a second.

 

Edited by Zerg Rush
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