I’ve switched from Brave stable to Brave 1.0 Beta (the one with the redesign to make it look like Chromium) and while it’s got some nice features to it, like Chrome extension compatibility, and tooltips colour syncing with your theme colour, and the pretty nice looking custom icon theme which looks pretty modern, but there are some bugs that need to be addressed.
DISCLAIMER: This are issues found on Fedora 28 Linux. Windows or Mac might be different. I’ll try and update this original column if there’s some other bugs I notice. UPDATE: I’ve done the decent thing and put up some screenshots to make it easier to see the problem. I’ll add more if I feel they are needed.
There are issues with the “Brave Colors”, GTK+ theme, and “Use system title bar and borders” not working well together. For example, if I use a dark GTK theme and the Light Brave Colors, I end up with a bar of white pixels spanning the entire top chrome. Vice versa if I use a light GTK theme and Dark Brave Colors, I get the same thing, but with black pixels instead. The only way to correct for this is to enable “Use system title bar and borders”, but this ends up hiding the close, min and max buttons while using Brave as fullscreen/maximised. So you are essentially forced to disable system title bar and borders, and can only use the same Brave colors as your GTK theme (this doesn’t affect classic theme [system title bar issue does, but not the pixel bar issues] btw, plus I’m glad to see Brave did the decent thing and put a dark mode for the top chrome). There is zero way to correct for this in Tor windows that I can see other than changing your GTK theme entirely. I also find it strange that the URL bar doesn’t respond to GTK colors, since Chromium does that already. There should be an option in the “Brave Colors” menu for GTK+, which would correct most of the stuff I’ve mentioned so far. Moving on from the toolbar, I find it strange that the 3 dot menu can only be white, despite your Brave colour preferences, and ignores GTK themes despite the fact that even bog standard Chromium has this menu respond to GTK colours.
Another issue was with the people management system. It doesn’t allow you to set a custom profile picture, nor let you remove your profile picture outright if you select one of the included ones unless you delete your user profile entirely. Since Chromium now shows a profile picture icon in the toolbar now, I noticed strange issues with certain pictures where it does not take up the entire icon, but is merely inserted on top of a grey background, which seems dumb to me.
And this next stuff isn’t really bugs, but some stupid stuff from Chromium which remained in Brave, which I would like to see removed. Every time you start up Brave, you are reminded that there are certain software keys missing, which doesn’t have an obvious way to be disabled. And on the New Tab page, there is a great big toolbar that doesn’t go away, reminding you that you have a bookmarks bar? No seriously, it says “For quick access, place your bookmarks here on the bookmarks bar” and cannot be disabled", and it’s still there from ordinary Chrome. It wastes space, looks completely out of place with the New Tab Page, and let’s be honest, most of us here are power users, who don’t need to be reminded that bookmarks are a thing. It should be removed completely in my opinion.
There is a slight issue when a website asks for multiple permissions, then the icons in your toolbar which indicate what permissions you granted the up just sort of line up on the right side of the toolbar, which looks ugly. The better thing to do would be to just show all permissions that site asked when you click the little lock icon at the left of the toolbar, which most other browsers do (including Chromium) and it looks a lot cleaner. Speaking of toolbar, I think users should have the option to move the Brave Shields icon out of the URL bar and into the main toolbar, depending on their preference.
So, that’s about it, really. I quite like Brave, and the team and community behind it, but I would like to see this stuff corrected before I can use it full time. I’m aware that this is a beta build, but I’m reporting this stuff so I can see this stuff fixed before v1.0 hits stable release.
UPDATE 1: Noticed that trying to access settings for the New Tab Page just takes you to the regular settings menu, where there doesn’t seem to be any options to configure those things.
UPDATE 2: My settings for what Brave Shields block doesn’t seem to ever stick. For example, I block all fingerprinting using Shields, but every time I close Brave it reverts to the default of blocking 3rd party fingerprinting only. I have attempted this using the Shields panel and the settings menu, both have the same issue.
Dark GTK theme + Dark Brave Colors
Dark GTK theme + Light Brave Colors
Light GTK theme + Light Brave Colors