Some might fail to grasp the difference between Google Chrome and Chromium. For starters, it is important to note that Chrome is a proprietary web browser developed by Google based on the free and open-source Chromium codebase.
Chromium is fundamentally a software project spearheaded by Google alongside other software developers and sizeable members of the open-source community. Other companies have used the Chromium codebase to develop their own web browsers.
Examples include the Microsoft Edge browser from Microsoft, Opera from Opera Software, Amazon Silk from Amazon, Brave from Brave Software, Samsung Internet from Samsung, the Kiwi Browser, and Yandex Browser by Yandex N.V.
Similarities Between Google Chrome and Chromium
User Interface and General Design Philosophy
Apart from being a codebase, Chromium is a browser itself. When it comes to the similarities between Google Chrome and Chromium, both share an almost similar user interface and overall design philosophy. In addition, the functionalities of these browsers can be expanded using browser extensions. Most Chromium-based browsers such as Microsoft Edge, Opera, and Brave also have a similar clean user interface, as well as support for extensions.
Fundamental Web Technologies and Standards
Differences Between Google Chrome and Chromium
The similarities between Google Chrome and Chromium end with user interface design and the fundamental web technologies and standards. Beyond these two, there are stark differences between the two, especially when compared side-by-side.
Below are the features exclusively found in Chrome and absent from Chromium, as well as notable differences between the two:
• Automatic Updates and Reporting: Remember that Chromium is raw and bare. When compared to Google Chrome, it does not run background updates. Furthermore, there are minimal options for users to send automatic statistics on crashes and errors.
• Licensed Proprietary Media Codecs: Chrome has integrated popular licensed codecs for proprietary media formats to include AAC, H.264, and MP3. Note that websites and webpages that utilize these codecs, including those using HTML5 video, would not run in full when opened in a Chromium browser.
• Pepper API Flash Plug-In: Another missing feature in a Chromium browser is an Adobe Flash plug-in. Chrome includes the Pepper API Flash Plug-In by default to Flash-based web contents, and Google automatically updates this along with the browser. Users have the option to disable this plug-in.
• Google Services API Keys and DRM: Google Chrome also has built-in API keys for some Google Services, as well as digital rights management or DRM components to load and play copyrighted contents.
• User and Browser Privacy and Security: To understand further the difference between Browser Chrome and Chromium, remember that the former is more stable and secure because it is regularly updated. Chromium is prone to crashes. However, unlike Chrome, it does not collect and send out user and system data.
• Other Browser Features and Functions: Features that are available in Google Chrome and not on a Chromium browser include integrated PDF viewer and print preview features, restrictions on browser extension, and access to the Chrome Store.