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(Credit: Brave)

Brave, one of the most interesting and more privacy-focused web browsers on the market, has officially moved over to the Chromium browser engine after initially launching with Muon, its own own in-house engine. Maintaining its own browser codebase proved to be costly and time consuming, the company said.

In a blog post about the move in October, Brave (Windows and Mac) said the switch would mean its browser would work faster and sync better with a number of different systems.

"In addition to featuring leading privacy and security benefits, Brave Core is showing radical performance improvements, beyond what is achieved by simply blocking unwanted content, offering average and median load time savings of 22%, which translates into as much as 8-second faster page loads on certain sites," they wrote.

SEE: Stay private and protected with the best Firefox security extensions

Brave discussed the change at length in another blog post from March, where it laid out the reasoning for switching away from their in-house component.

"Unlike the current version of Brave, this new browser will have support for nearly all Chrome features and extension APIs, but of course without including any code that phones home to Google, or to the Chrome Web Store," it said.

"We have been experimenting with replacing our desktop Muon runtime...with a more comprehensive Chromium stack for the desktop browser," it added. "Switching to the Chromium user interface gives us much more support for Chrome's features and APIs, as well as Chromium's stability and its well-supported interface with the core browser engine. Once we switch over, this will free up our development effort to focus fully on Brave-specific features -- the things like Brave Shields and BAT, which set us aside from the other browsers."

But the company was quick to assure users that the Brave 0.57 update would stay laser-focused on privacy and would not be adopting any of the Google-specific features of Chromium.

"We've disabled Google Accounts and Sync and removed all the Chrome-specific telemetry and reporting code. Google isn't used for search suggestions either," it wrote.

The switch will allow the browser to support extensions build with the popular WebExtensions API. With the move the WebExtensions, web developers will be more easily able to write extensions for Brave as well as Chrome and Firefox, which both also handle WebExtensions.

Since debuting in 2016, the company has sold itself to consumers as one of the most secure web browsers available, touting its ability to "block ads, tracking, fingerprinting, crypto-mining scripts, auto-play videos, and other abusive threats that are all too common on the Web today, while providing optional controls for unblocking."

Many of the most popular web browsers on the market -- including Chrome, Vivaldi, and Opera -- use the Chromium code base. Even Edge has announced that it will move to a Chromium code base soon. With the update, Brave users can now install and use any extensions in the Chrome Web Store.

Brave spent years working on Muon, creating the browser's UI out of custom-made HTML, CSS and Javascript user interfaces that made it unique. But a project like this requires significant effort and time, which strained Brave's small team.

After initially announcing the move in March, the company spent the winter releasing alpha and beta versions.

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Takeaways

  1. The Brave web browser has officially switched to a Chromium code base, which will align it closer to other major web browsers on the market.
  2. It had been using their own, custom-made code base but found that Chromium was faster and easier for a large amount of customers to use.

Also see

Jonathan is a Contributing Writer for CNET's Download.com. He's a freelance journalist based in New York City. He recently returned to the United States after reporting from South Africa, Jordan, and Cambodia since 2013.