During a recent revision, Google discovered that some third-party Chromium-based browsers were able to integrate users into Chrome Sync, Click to Call, and other features exclusive to Google’s browser version. As a result, a small percentage of users were able to sign in to their Google Account via their browser wrapper and sync their data! Their bookmarks, among other things, could be added to the overall experience just as they would be in regular Google Chrome.
Google has taken open source for Chromium and has put countless hours on top of it with its own in-house development team to create experiences that are unique and competitive. Third-party browsers that accessed Chrome Sync were not publicly identified via the Chromium Blog, but as a result, Google will restrict access to its private Chrome APIs from March 1
The company assures users that were able to take advantage of this accidental access during this short period will continue to be able to access complete account data via the web or the official Google Chrome browser. In addition, Chrome Sync is now optional and not required, so users who want to use Chrome without syncing with the cloud can do so, although the benefits will be limited. Google Takeout also offers users the ability to capture a copy of their data for storage.
This is an interesting and strange situation, but it is good that Google has taken control of the situation. Say what you will about Google, but they put a lot of hard work into very intelligent people to come up with these unique and competitive features. If I created something, I would not want others to take it and use it elsewhere. It’s like eating a McDonald’s burger at Starbucks – it might be cool, but don ‘t be that guy.