Google Delays turning off Chrome Manifest V2 until June 2023

Google Inc. 100,83 -0,45 -0,44% Google has pushed back their plans to disabling Manifest V2 based add-ons at least five-months. Previously Google planed to disable Manifest V2 based add-ons in January 2023. I am guessing some add-on developers (especially the Ad Blocking ones) are having trouble getting their add-ons to work user would prefer based on the new Manifest V3 guidelines.

An update from the Chrome team says that they will proceed in careful, experimental steps, ensuring a smooth end-user experience during the phase-out of Manifest V2 in June 2023.

During that time, Google will support extension developers with guidance and information on the new protocol and how they can best roll out versions that support it without their users experiencing hiccups.

This latest statement makes it sound as if the final phase of Manifest V2 could be pushed back even further:

  • In June 2023, with the release of Chrome 115, Chrome may run experiments to turn off support for Manifest V2 extensions in all channels, including Stable channel.

Again the biggest issue is going to be Ad Blocker extensions developers and these changes are not going to go over well with ‘power users’.

For uBlock Origin, Hill has begun working on a uBO Lite extension to get past some of the issues experienced by AdGuard’s transition to Manifest V3. While Hill has overcome some of these issues, he too warns that the new extension will not come without limitations.

“Many users of uBO will dislike the limitations of uBOL when compared to uBO. There is no point complaining about it, it’s just not for you, it’s meant for another kind of users — you do not have to use it,” explained Hill in a lengthy post about Manifest V3 on GitHub.

I get their reasoning for making  webRequest API to block extensions from modifying the data before it’s shown to the user. There are a lot of malicious Chrome extensions out there which inject code and make changes. Instead of Google playing whack-a-mole trying to shutdown these extensions as they crop up they are disabling the mechanism with Manifest V3 which allow these extensions to operate. The downside is for extensions (Ad Blockers) which didn’t abuse the webRequest API they are being rendered useless. Time will tell what is going to happen, but it does seem Google is realizing this change over is not going to be as simple as they planned.

via Bleeping Computer