Google to cut off other Chromium-based browsers from access to services such as Sync

Google plans to revoke others’ Chromium-based browsers’ access to a long list of APIs that power such popular services as bookmark and settings synchronization.

“We discovered that some third-party Chromium-based browsers were able to integrate Google features, such as Chrome Sync and Click to Call, that are only intended for Google’s use,” Jochen Eisinger, Chrome engineering director, wrote in a Jan. 15 post to a company blog.

Access to what Eisinger labeled “our private Chrome APIs” will be blocked starting March 15.

Although Eisinger mentioned only two APIs by name — Google Sync and Click to Call — as effected by the new rule, a link he offered led to a page that lists 20 APIs, including those for calling on services like Google Translate and Safe Browsing. The latter warns users when they try to steer to potentially dangerous websites.

Some or all of those APIs may also be out of bounds come the middle of March.

“Many of the Google APIs used by Chromium code are specific to Google Chrome and not intended for use in derived products,” that page stated.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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