Google’s Manifest V3 will change how ad blocking Chrome extensions work: Is it to cripple them, or is it for security?
Google Chrome is the most popular cross-platform web browser available on the market right now, claiming 62.7% of the global browser usage share up until May 2019, with Apple’s Safari coming in second at 15.89% and Mozilla’s Firefox claiming 5.07%. Because of its lion’s share, the smallest of changes that Google Chrome undertakes for its platform end up affecting millions of users around the world. So when Google announced the next extensions manifest version in the form of Manifest V3 for Google Chrome Extensions, we knew we were in for some big changes, especially when it came to light that Google was building in a content blocker API within Chrome itself.
What is Manifest V3?
If you are an active Chrome user, you undoubtedly use a few extensions. Extensions are small software programs that customize the browsing experience using the APIs that the browser provides, allowing users to tailor functionality and behavior to suit their individual needs and preferences. These extensions are distributed mainly through the Chrome Web Store, which is home to more than 180,000 extensions.
Since late last year, Google has been working on “Manifest V3,” a set of proposed changes to the Chrome Extensions platform that can be classified as “breaking changes.” As the public discussion document for Manifest V3 states, the extension manifest version is a mechanism for restricting certain capabilities to a certain class of extensions. These restrictions can be in the form of either a minimum version or a maximum version. Restricting to a minimum version allows newer APIs or capabilities to only be available to newer extensions while restricting to a maximum manifest version allows older APIs or capabilities to be gradually deprecated.
In simpler terms, a new manifest version allows Chrome to restrict APIs and features to this new manifest version, in order to force extension developers to migrate away from certain older APIs due to their negative impact on the user experience. Implementing an extension in Manifest V3 should theoretically provide stronger guarantees from the perspectives of security, privacy, and performance.https://www.xda-developers.com/google-chrome-manifest-v3-ad-blocker-extension-api/♠♣♥♦