Next year, Google Chrome’s new and improved extension manifest, known as Manifest V3, is expected to completely replace its predecessor. The business has said that it will stop supporting Manifest V2 in June 2024, blocking installations through the Chrome Web Store, and remotely disabling extensions that still use it. AdBlock developers have been critical of Manifest V3, claiming that the new definition is very restrictive; nevertheless, the business has since made some changes.
Google introduced improvements to Manifest V3
Google notes in a blog post that it made significant improvements to Manifest V3 to address some of the issues that developers were having with it. The business talks about enhanced support for content filtering that has more generous constraints, enabling larger rule sets and ban lists. Improvements for background playback-dependent extensions, improved management of service worker lives, and a new User Scripts API are also included.
After halting the Manifest V3 rollout in December of last year due to intense developer backlash, Google now appears to be certain that the necessary adjustments have been made. With Chrome 127 and later, the firm plans to phase away the previous specification, Manifest V2, in June 2024. However, Google claims that the change will be implemented gradually, so some individuals may be fortunate enough to maintain their extensions for an extended period.
Google notes that “we’ve seen support for Manifest V3 increase significantly among the extension community” and urges developers to migrate to Manifest V3 as soon as possible. In its blog post, the company mentions AdGuard, with whom it collaborated to enhance Manifest V3 and make it more appropriate for tracker and ad blocking. AdGuard even goes so far as to suggest that at this stage, it observes “cautious optimism” over the modification.
Manifest V3 continues to not satisfy other initiatives. Although Google’s adjustments are beneficial, according to digital privacy group EFF in an interview with The Verge, “the underlying problem remains the same: if extensions can’t develop, users lose, and trackers win All of us now rely on Google to continuously update the API to stay up-to-date with trackers and ads“.
Google has announced that it will be pushing Manifest V3 to developers and users while it is waging war on adblockers. The business has begun taking more extreme measures to counteract adblockers on YouTube, preventing users who are found to be using these tools from viewing videos at all for as long as the blockers are active. In fact, YouTube is being sued in the EU for violating privacy due to its aggressive business practices.
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