Google says the move will provide users with powerful information about extensions before installation so they can fully understand how their browsing experience will be affected.
To improve the transparency of Chrome extensions for users, Google has announced that it will retire inline installations and said that users will only be able to install extensions from within the Chrome Web Store where they can see all information about the functionality of an extension before installing. After this summer, the technology giant will retire inline installation on all platforms.
“We continue to receive numerous complaints from users about unwanted extensions that unexpectedly alter their Chrome experience – and most of these complaints are responsible for the misleading or fraudulent use of inline installations on websites,” said James Wagner, extension platform product manager.
According to the executive, the main reason for disabling inline installation is that it receives a lot of complaints from users about unwanted extensions that cause their Chrome experience to change unexpectedly – and most of these complaints are attributed to misleading or fraudulent use of inline installations on websites.
Since Chrome plays an important role in ensuring that information displayed alongside extensions in the Web Store allows users to make conscious decisions about whether to install an extension, Google emphasizes that extensions are significantly less likely to be uninstalled when installed through the Chrome Web Store. Or the cause of user complaints compared to extensions installed through inline installation.
Inline installation was introduced in 2011 as a way for users to install extensions seamlessly from the developer’s website. Unfortunately, this process has been abused by fraudulent sites and ads that deceive users into installing unwanted extensions.
Google says that the process of removing support for inline installation of extensions will begin in three steps. First, the inline installation will be unavailable for all newly released extensions. Extensions released on or after June 12, 2018 that attempt to call the chrome.webstore.install () function will automatically redirect the user to the Chrome Web Store in a new tab to complete the installation.
Second, from September 12, inline installation for existing extensions will be disabled and users will be automatically redirected to the Chrome Web Store to complete the installation, and third, in early December, the inline install API method will be removed from Chrome 71.
“We strive to ensure choice and transparency for all Chrome users as they browse the web. Part of this choice is the ability to use the thousands of extensions available in the Chrome Web Store to customize the browsing experience in a useful and productive way, ”Wagner added.
Developers who wish to distribute an extension using inline installation will need to update the install buttons on their website with a link to the Chrome Web Store page of their extension before the stable release of Chrome 71 scheduled for December 4th.
“We’re proud of the choices Chrome Web Store offers users to enhance their browsing experience. At the same time, it is very important that users have strong information about extensions before installation, so that they fully understand how their browsing experience will be affected. We’re sure this change will improve transparency for all users about their extension preferences in Chrome, “the executive said.
This is not Google’s first attempt to protect users from fraudulent inline installations In May 2014, Google announced a new policy to protect Windows users that extensions would be hosted on the Chrome Web Store. The results were encouraging, and Google saw a 75 percent reduction in customer support requests for uninstalling unwanted extensions. Later, the company disables inline installation for fraudulent sites and extensions associated with advertising.