Thursday, 16 August, 2018


Google plots death of inline installation for Chrome extensions

Google Chrome Extensions Can No Longer Be Installed Directly From Websites Google plots death of inline installation for Chrome extensions
Melba Vasquez | 13 June, 2018, 20:46

Users adding the chrome.webstore.install() command to enable this function will instead find it redirects to the appropriate Chrome Store listing.

Finally, Google will completely kill the inline install API from Chrome 71 in early December 2018 to completely remove it from developers' options.

This change will result in users being required to visit the Chrome Web Store first before installing any extensions within the Chrome browser.

Google extensions platform product manager James Wagner wrote that "we continue to receive large volumes of complaints from users about unwanted extensions causing their Chrome experience to change unexpectedly".

You will no longer be able to install Google Chrome extensions from outside of the main Chrome Store anymore.

"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", he explains. Too often, though, developers combined these so-called "inline installs" with deceptive information on their sites to get users to install them.

Google Chrome has the privilege of shipping on millions of Android devices around the world, giving it a massive head start in claiming market share. Starting today, all newly-published extensions can only be installed via the Chrome Web Store, and this restriction will extend to existing extensions over the remainder of the year.

The company promised to do something against deceptive inline installations in January 2018 and revealed that fewer than 3% of extensions used deceptive or confusing install flows and that these 3% account for more than 90% of user complaints.

⥤ Starting September 12, 2018, inline installation will be disabled for existing extensions, and users will be automatically redirected to the Chrome Web Store to complete the installation.

"We're proud of the choices the Chrome Web Store provides users in enhancing their browsing experience", said Wagner. But, the mechanism has been abused by attackers to trick users into downloading malicious extensions.

In a Chromium blog post, Google says that the descriptions and feature lists in the Chrome Web Store help people in making informed decisions on whether or not they need a particular extension.

It may be more hard for malicious actors to get users to install their extensions directly from the Web Store. You can also opt to use Google Chrome's install badge for greater visibility.

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