[arch-dev-public] News draft: Chromium losing Sync support in early March

Evangelos Foutras evangelos at foutrelis.com
Mon Feb 1 03:19:24 UTC 2021

I would like to post this in ~48 hours from now. Review and
corrections are welcome. :)

Google has [announced](https://blog.chromium.org/2021/01/limiting-private-api-availability-in.html)
that they are going to block everything but Chrome from accessing
Google features (like Chrome sync) starting on March 15. This decision
by Google is going to affect Arch's `chromium` package a bit earlier,
on March 2, when Chromium 89 gets released.

We know for sure that **data syncing** will stop working (passwords,
bookmarks, etc.). Other features such as **geolocation** or **enhanced
spell check** might continue to function for a bit longer. Extensions
integrating with **Google Drive** are likely to be affected as well.

After this change is implemented, we will be able to better evaluate
the usefulness of Chromium builds with reduced functionality. It is
not yet clear if Chromium will continue to be a viable browser for us
to package, but we are trying to minimize the disruption to users.

Other distros such as openSUSE and Fedora have already removed the
soon-to-be-limited API keys from their Chromium 88 packages. Fedora's
provides a great deal of perspective on this and I also found this
Hackaday [post](https://hackaday.com/2021/01/26/whats-the-deal-with-chromium-on-linux-google-at-odds-with-package-maintainers/)
to be quite informative.

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