Google Chrome is arguably the best web browser in the world today. Some people may get confused that Google has another open-source web browser, Chromium. Now both browser looks the same, comes with similar functionalities, and were even released in the same year – 2008.
Google has launched Chrome using the source codes of Chromium which is an open-source project of Google. Chromium source codes are still available as open-source downloadable.
Difference Between Google Chrome and Chromium
Even though Chrome is derived from Chromium’s source codes, Google has deployed a number of proprietary features over the years. Here is a list of such features which Chrome has but Chromium doesn’t:
Supports AAC, H.264, and MP3: AAC, H.264, and MP3 are the licensed media codecs that Google has integrated into Chrome. These codecs actually make HTML5 videos compatible to play in the browser, a feature that is not available in Chromium.
These codecs also allow streaming H.264 videos, which is the HD video streaming service that Chromium lacks.
Adobe Flash Plug-in: Chrome comes with a pre-installed Adobe Flash plug-in which Chromium lacks. Flash Player is used for viewing interactive media files on a browser. So, the lack of such an important feature is a huge drawback if someone uses Chromium.
Chrome’s version of the Flash plug-in is much more compatible than what Adobe offers. If Chromium wants to get the Flash player features, they have to manually download it from Adobe’s website.
Subtle Updates: Google makes sure Chrome users get frequent browser updates. There is an additional background app that fetches updates from Google and keeps the browser up-to-date.
However, this feature is not available for Linux users and they have to rely on standard software management tools. In the case of Chromium, users have to update the browser manually as there is no automatic update option.
No Extensions: Google has restricted all the extensions available in Google Web Store for the Chromium browser. The Chromium users must download manually from the internet to install the extensions.
After discussing all these negative aspects of Chromium and how Chrome is a superior browser among the two, one must wonder, why would we use Chromium?
To answer that one must understand which platform Chromium is more suitable to use. If anyone uses Windows or Mac, they should opt for Chrome over Chromium. The lack of automatic updates and the Crash & Error reporting service in Chromium are the obvious reasons. On top of that, the lack of video codecs and Google extensions in the browser makes Chrome the superior of the two browsers.
However, things are pretty even if it comes to Linux users. Generally, Linux users are more fascinated towards open-source applications and since Chromium’s source codes are open to all, many Linux users prefer Chromium over Chrome.
There is no doubt that Google Chrome is a better web browser if compared to Chromium. Definitely a better choice for Windows and Mac users. The ultimate choice is for Linux users. It is a matter of preference.
If a Linux user prefers an open-source application, Chromium is for that user and if a user prefers a browser with all the latest prebuilt features, Chrome is the obvious choice.