Google is reducing the privileges of browsers based on its base engine, Chromium. The open source system, which is present in Microsoft Edge and other browsers, will not guarantee access to tools created specifically for Chrome, removing some of the APIs available to work within competing projects.
According to statements by the director of engineering at Google Chrome, Jochen Eisinger, “there are tools that should only be used by Google”, and until then, they were made available to other developers through private APIs – which will now have restricted access by default.
Apparently, the company is concerned that other browsers will take advantage of the tools created for Google Chrome in their own programs – since this is not the purpose of Chromium’s open source, as Google itself commented in its API catalog.
Beginning on March 15, the process will take a few more months for all Google restricted access APIs to be properly blocked, enough time for developers of Chromium-derived products to adapt their browsers to the new rules and minimize the impact on usability .
So far, some of the APIs that have become exclusive for use by Google are those of Chrome Sync; “Click to Call” function, the same as mentioned by the company’s director; Google Translate requests and Safe Browsing tools, the same that notifies users when accessing a potentially malicious page.
Containment or strategy?
It is not known what prompted Google to make that decision at this time. Probably, some dispute with products derived from Chromium may have generated a disturbance and result in Google’s new strategy, information that should never be disclosed by the company.
On the other hand, restrictions may have been put in place to ensure that Google’s product is different from the rest and that it has exclusive functions, without guaranteeing access for third-party developers.