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Google is removing the ability to install extensions outside of the Chrome Web Store

According to Google’s own research, just under 10% of extensions submitted to the Chrome Web Store between 2012 and 2015 were malicious. Google is looking to continue cracking down on malicious extensions with a new ban on inline installations on all platforms, essentially removing the ability to install extensions outside of the Chrome Web Store.

James Wagner, Extensions Platform Product Manager for Chrome, announced this yesterday through a blog post. Wagner speaks about how inline installations are causing a huge amount of complaints, way more than Chrome Web Store only installs, indicating an obvious problem with inline installations.

“As we’ve attempted to address this problem over the past few years, we’ve learned that the information displayed alongside extensions in the Chrome Web Store plays a critical role in ensuring that users can make informed decisions about whether to install an extension.” Wagner explains. “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.”

Inline installations are essentially third-party code found on websites that automatically activate the installation of extensions on Google Chrome. This new change means the only place you can install extensions for Chrome will be on the Chrome Web Store itself.

Starting yesterday, Inline installations will no longer be allowed for new extensions. Old extensions can continue with inline installations until the 12th of September 2018 before being automatically rerouted to the Chrome Web Store. By December 2018 the API will be removed, so admins must make sure they link to the Chrome Web Store for their extension.

KitGuru Says: This is a step in the right direction, whilst inline installations may be convenient, they are abused too heavily to continue with them. Do you think Google is making the right decision removing inline installations for extensions?

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