There’s been this bad habit by websites trying to get you install their extension on your Chrome browser. It is a bad habit in the sense that most of these extensions pose a privacy and security threat.
Well, today Google made a big announcement on that front, making it mandatory for all Chrome extensions to be exclusively installed from the Chrome Web Store. This move has been hailed as timely and necessary to shield users from sites that try to dupe them into installing their extensions.
Even developers who have published apps on the Chrome Web Store used deceptive means to initiate app and extension installs from their own sites. Google has also shut down that feature as well.
Going forward inline installations (a developer using crafty means to get you install their app or extension) will be unavailable to all the newly published extensions. If a developer using the call for install on their site, visitors will be automatically redirected to the Chrome Web store to complete the installation.
Google plans to shut down all inline installs by September 12, 2018. Any extension on the Chrome browser will only be obtained from the Web Store. Then come December, and with the launch of Chrome version 71, the API that makes it possible for inline installation will no longer be supported.
“As we’ve attempted to address this problem over the past few years, we’ve learned that the information displayed alongside extensions in Chrome Web Store plays a critical role in ensuring that users can make informed decisions about whether to install an extension,” said James Wagner, the product manager for the extensions platforms.
“When installed through the Chrome Web Store, extensions are significantly less likely to be uninstalled or cause user complaints, compared to extensions installed through inline installation.”