Google Chrome’s Canary builds are updated almost every night, with exciting new features at times, crashes at other times, or unwanted changes. Today’s update to Chrome Canary for Android mistakenly renames the app to “Clankium.”
Often errors occur with as many apps as Google creates and manages. A Google Messages update earlier this year included a “dogfood” paw print icon on some devices, but it was found to be just an icon mistake, not a true “dogfood” list.
The latest version of Chrome Canary rolling out to Android devices via the Play Store, in what appears to be a similar mishap, results in the app being renamed “Clankium” and given a new icon. The Clankium icon depicts a dinosaur hatching out of his shell, and appears to be a cute chrome:/dino game reference.
If you wondered what this Clankium device is, or if your phone was compromised, you don’t have to worry. “Clank” is Google’s internal codename for Android for Chrome. Just as Chrome is Google’s product and Chromium is the open source version that lacks Google’s proprietary code, Clank is Google’s product (Chrome for Android) and Clankium is probably the open source version without Google’s proprietary code.
However, for all intents and purposes, the “Clankium” that appeared on our phones is still the Chrome Canary we knew and loved, not the alternative open source, as many Google services are still working as expected. Just like the above-mentioned Google Messages mistake, this is most likely just an accident when the build system chooses the wrong app name and icon. To that extent, the app also appears in the Google Play Store as “Chrome Canary.”
If nothing else, this is an interesting insight into one of the many different builds Google is making on a daily basis for Chrome. While Google doesn’t publicly provide a Clankium build, if you wanted to get a sense of how Chrome’s open-source-only version for Android, there’s a community effort that’s constantly building new Chromiums for Android and other browsers.