Even Though Certain APIs Are Not Yet Available, Google Continues To Push The Extensions Manifest V3 Update.

by | Mar 7, 2024

When Mozilla shifted to WebExtensions, do you remember? For their extensions to continue working with Firefox at the time, developers had to transfer them to the new extensions system. Some extension authors were prevented from transferring their extensions in time or had to release them with a lower level of functionality since Mozilla did not immediately provide critical APIs.

Developers of Google extensions are currently in a similar situation. Beginning in January 2023, Chrome will only accept extensions created with Manifest v3. The majority of Chrome users will only see Manifest v3 extensions starting in January 2023, while there will be an Enterprise policy to defer this by six months.

Older extensions that still use Manifest version 2 won’t be available in the Chrome Web Store any more and can’t be upgraded. These are also not accepted by Chrome, and it’s possible that many users will have some of their extensions automatically deactivated by the browser.

Not only that, but extension creators now deal with problems that are quite similar to those that Firefox extension creators dealt with a few years ago. The deadline of January 2023 is quickly approaching, yet several of the promised APIs are still not accessible, making it impossible for some to even start the porting process.

There are many of examples out there. This Chromium issue demonstrates the lack of a necessary API for proxy extensions. It earned a lot of stars when it opened in 2020 to catch Google’s eye. A Chromium project member responded only today, on September 20, saying that Google hoped to fix the problem by January 2023.

Even if that could be the case, before they can publish their extensions to the Chrome Web Store, extension developers must first create and test the new Manifest v3 version of the extensions.

Similar problems arise for extensions that offer user script capability as Google rushes to deliver support to Chrome so that developers may begin creating and testing their Manifest v3 extensions.

Manifest v3, content blocking is also constrained, although this was intended. There will be extensions that block content, but they have certain limitations.It is quite possible that certain extensions won’t be ready in January 2023 owing to a lack of APIs and information supplied by Google, assuming Google is not postponing the decision to make Chrome Manifest v3 compliant solely.

Although it’s unknown how many people would be impacted, certain proxy extensions have millions of users. It would be fascinating to watch if Google decides to keep the January 2023 deadline or extend it as the date gets closer.