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Google Is Updating Its Chrome Extension Policy; Changes Take Place Today

December 20, 2013 - Written By Justin Diaz


For some developers of Chrome Extensions, there may be some heavy changes that take place during the next six months, and for those that have yet to put out an extension onto the Chrome WebStore, these changes to the policy regarding extensions may or may not push back their release. In a move to block non-Chrome WebStore browser extensions from being installed on Windows machines, Google set in motion a policy change that would prevent the former from happening going forward. The action of blocking some of these extensions was of course partly for security reasons says Google, and their goal is to stop the possibility of harmful or malicious attacks from being carried out on users due to shifty extensions. As reported by The Verge, Google says that

“malicious extensions are the leading cause of complaints from our Windows users.”

This shouldn’t come as a shock as Google is pretty big on security, and likes to keep a lid on everything harmful to users the best that they can. This new policy which starts today for developers who have yet to have their extensions enter the WebStore, will ask that all extensions

“have a single purpose that is narrow and easy to understand”,

as noted by Engineering Director Erik Kay in the Chromium Blog Post titled ‘Keeping Chrome Extensions Simple’.

2651970411_b210f8f3acIt also requires those who already have extensions available in the store to comply with the policy changes by next June, which seems like plenty of time to update their work. Kay also makes note that Chrome has always been about simplicity from the very beginning. Its core values reflected that since its release, with its bare bones user interface that gave you a browsing experience that was focused solely on browsing. This has been Google’s belief since they came up with the idea for their own browser, stating that the browsing experience had become “too bulky” as browsers had become laden with toolbars and other add ons as shown in the picture above. This change attempts to bring Chrome a little closer back to its roots of a simple user experience, and demands that Extensions are limited to a single browser action or page action button. This should make browsing in Chrome infinitely better in the long run, since the point of the Chrome browser started with an idea to give users the speediest browsing experience possible. We expect that less potentially malicious and harmful extensions should mean less headaches, faster browsing and more fun while browsing the web.