Google Wants ‘Simple’ Chrome Extensions

GoogleGoogle Chrome extension developers beware: the tech giant now wants all to be kept “simple”.  The announcement was made on Friday, stating that the terms to the Chrome Web Store had been updated. Those who enjoy making multi-purpose extensions will find themselves kicked out of the store if they do not abide by the new policy.

The “simple” extensions will satisfy many users of toolbar extensions. At the moment, someone may download something for one thing, only to find that they need to agree to an email notification policy or the ability to inject ads into the pages on the web. For many, there is no ability to uninstall the separate part of the extension without uninstalling the whole thing.

Not only are some of these toolbars intrusive, they make the whole computer much slower. There is too much happening at one time, sometimes causing the Chrome browser to crash and shut down. The unrelated functions are also confusing for users, who simply chose to download the extension for one use.

Extensions for the Google owned web browser are there to add functionality. It was a problem for some users back in 2008 when the browser had no ability to install add-ons. Some of the extensions include Google Hangouts and Kindle for Chrome.

Google wants to keep the Chrome toolbar extensions as “simple” as possible. Developers are given until June 2014 to update current extensions available in the Google Chrome Web Store, so that all will meet the new guidelines. Those who fail to comply will find their extensions removed. Users who regularly refuse to abide by the policy will find themselves completely locked out of the store.

However, that does not mean these multi-purpose options are gone for good. The tech giant has announced that Chrome will still support them. The difference is developers will need to offer them from elsewhere. The only place they cannot be uploaded to is the Chrome Web Store. Developers could easily take their multi-purpose options down and offer them from third-party websites. This is useful for those that were specifically designed to have multiple purposes for a user’s convenience.

Google understands that some of the multi-purpose options are useful to users, but they will still not be available on the store. For developers who want to remain there, the company has suggested unbundling the extensions. This will take some work, but the multi-purpose options can remain up until June 2014 while developers work on this. For all new extensions for Chrome, the new policy will be in effect, so new multi-purpose options cannot be added.

There has also been the advice to change monetization options. There are some speculations that Google is simply trying to stop developers from using their own ads over its own. However, the company does seem to be trying to work to what users want, who complain about ads being injected without permission.

Developers need to watch out from now on. It is time to start working on those old extensions for Google Chrome and make them “simple”. June 2014 is the deadline, and then all will be removed.

By Alexandria Ingham


The Next Web


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