What is the Difference between Chrome and Chromium ?

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What is the Difference between Chrome and Chromium ?
What is the Difference between Chrome and Chromium ?

In this article, we will discuss the key differences between Chrome and Chromium and provide you with resources to help make informed decisions when choosing one. Let’s start with –

What is Chromium ?

Chromium is an open source web browser project introduced by Google in 2008. The project’s web site is https://www.chromium.org.

Google’s Chrome browser is built over Chromium.

Its Logo is similar to Chrome, the only difference is its just blue.

Chromium Logo
Chromium Logo

Source Code Repository: https://chromium.googlesource.com/chromium/src

This open source code is maintained by the Chromium Project, while Chrome is maintained by Google.

Below is the Chromium, project tagline –

Chromium is an open-source browser project that aims to build a safer, faster, and more stable way for all users to experience the web.

Chromium Src Repo.

Difference between Chrome and Chromium

Let’s understand this with a simple example

A chef created a pancake recipe, it goes viral cause it was good. So, the chef releases the recipe for public use to increase its popularity (this is Chromium), but Chef want to have control and sell pancakes himself, so he adds couple other ingredients to the pancake mix which he didn’t share (this is Chrome) this way, he is able to sell more pancakes given they are already popular and chef’s name and brand gives it a competitive edge.

What Chrome has but not Chromium ?

  • Google Chrome includes licensed media codecs like MP3, AAC and H.264, which enhances user experience and render commonly used media types. Whereas, Chromium doesn’t include these and is limited to what is available as non-proprietary codecs like WebM, VP9, Vorbis and others.
  • Chrome supports Adobe Flash – Flash may not be very popular anymore but may be needed for many websites. Chromium doesn’t support Flash out of the box.
  • Chrome includes Web Store, which gives an edge to the browser, as the web store provides plugins supporting a variety of functionalities, whereas Chromium is open source and has no centralised ownership so there is no Web Store, but Chrome plugins can work on it.

How does Chromium Stand out from Chrome ?

  • Tracking – Yes, Google Chrome has tracking and can track many aspects of your internet browsing whereas Chromium doesn’t.
  • Chrome is closed source and its code can’t be leveraged, by you and me to build browsers whereas Chromium is free and open source anyone can fork the project and start building their own browser.
  • Some of the popular browsers built using the Chromium project are – Microsoft Edge, Samsung Internet, Opera Desktop, Brave Browser and many others.

Disadvantage of depending on Chromium and Chrome ?

Let’s be honest, be it Chrome or Chromium both are Google projects.

Google has all the influence and leverage.

Unlikly but still possible, tomorrow, if Google decides to depreciate Chromium by making no further contributions to it and keeping the new features and improvements only on their Chrome, slowly but gradually Chromium will either die or not able to compete, and so will the browsers depending on it.

Given recent chaos created by trade war between United States and China.

And, Google banning Huawei from its Open source Android project, leaving Huawei and its users in difficult situation.

It makes it even more important than before to not have dependency on one company where possible.

Which one to Choose ? Chrome or Chromium

For an average web user, Chrome suits well (and it will include Chromium inside it), whereas developers can play around code and may want to try Chromium in its pure form before modification by anyone that may be Google, Microsoft or Opera.

Even, Why not give a try to 🔥FireFox, a non-profit open source project that is persisting in the fight against browser market monopoly, to appreciate and promote a free competitive market and not giving in the monopoly of big corporations.

At the end of the day, make a choice based on your user experience on the browser, and the fact how important is your privacy to you ? I will leave you with this question and choice to decide for yourself.

Signing off. Love

Navjot Singh – Software Dev.

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Navjot is a Hobby Blogger from Ireland, and loves to create content to help people. He makes time on weekends to work on this blog. And has a full time position at Verizon Media as Technical Solutions Consultant, which he loves and thrives at. His Skills include in-depth knowledge of SEO, Javascript, Advertising, HTML and Java.

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