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 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.
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.
After initially announcing the move in March, the company spent the winter releasing alpha and beta versions.
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- 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.
- 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.
- Brave browser to embrace Google Chrome extensions
- Update your Google Chrome browser now to avoid a nasty network security flaw
- Microsoft will officially rebuild Edge as a Chromium-based browser
- Firefox Review: Here's why you should switch to this free, secure, and hecka cool web browser
- Brave is the default browser on obscure HTC crypto-phone (CNET)
- Brave browser moves to Chromium codebase, now supports Chrome extensions (ZDNet)
- Microsoft's Edge to morph into a Chromium-based, cross-platform browser (TechRepublic)