How To: Bromite Is the New NoChromo — Open Source Chrome Port with Ad Blocking

Bromite Is the New NoChromo — Open Source Chrome Port with Ad Blocking

A while back, we told you about NoChromo, a no-root ad-blocking browser based on Google Chrome's open source code base, Chromium. That browser was wildly successful, as it offered an identical interface to regular Chrome, but without any ads. Sadly, the developer abandoned NoChromo, but a new ad-blocking Chromium port called Bromite has been released to fill its void.

It's still in its early stages of development, but there's already a few things to love about Bromite. For one, it blocks all ads by default — you don't even have to set anything up. Secondly, Bromite's developer csagan5 has removed click-tracking and AMP functionality from Google search results, among other privacy measures.

But perhaps the best feature of all is the fact that Bromite's developer is remaining active and plans to support the app for quite some time. In fact, the current build of Bromite is even newer than the latest stable version of Chrome, so you won't have to worry about this browser quickly becoming outdated like NoChromo. The app isn't available on the Play Store, so I'll show you how to install it below.

Step 1: Get Your Phone Ready

First, since Bromite isn't available on the Play Store, you'll need to make sure you have "Unknown Sources" enabled so you can sideload the app.

Secondly, Bromite has processor-specific and version-specific builds. As a result, you'll need to see what kind of processor your phone has, then figure out what Android version you're running.

Step 2: Install Bromite

Next, head to Bromite's official project page to download the ad-blocking browser:

Once you arrive at that page, scroll down to the Download section. From there, select your phone's processor type and Android version, then tap "Download." After that, just open the downloaded APK from your notification tray or with any file browser, then press "Install" when prompted.

Step 3: Browse the Web Without Ads

Once you've got Bromite installed, simply use it as your browser and you'll never see any more ads. If you've used Google Chrome before, you'll feel right at home with Bromite, as the UI is functionally identical.

One slight difference you may notice is that the on-screen navigation bar is white — this is an anti-burn-in feature that Google is adding to an upcoming build of Chrome stable, but it's already incorporated into Bromite, showcasing how up-to-date Bromite really is.

(1) IMDb in regular Chrome (note the ad overlay). (2) IMDb in Bromite (no ads anywhere).

Notes About Google Account Sync & Updates

If you check out Bromite's settings menu, you'll notice a message offering to sign into Google at the top of the page to sync your bookmarks and autofill data just like regular Chrome. Unfortunately, this feature does not work.

It's not a bug with Bromite, it's a problem with all Chromium browser ports. Google simply won't allow third parties (like the developer of this app) to access Chrome's account sync API, which means sync functionality will never be supported. But hey, that's a small price to pay for never having to see ads.

As I mentioned at the beginning, Bromite's developer seems quite active so far, so you should expect fairly frequent updates. As a sideloaded app, it can't be updated automatically, however, so you'll have to check for updates periodically. That's simple, though — just repeat Step 2 above to grab the new APK, then install it on top of your existing build of Bromite.

Cover image and screenshots by Dallas Thomas/Gadget Hacks

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