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Google will block Chrome extension installs outside its Web Store

People are apparently less likely to uninstall extensions from the Web Store itself.
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Google will block inline Chrome extension installation on all platforms starting this summer, which means no more sideloading from developers' or random websites. The tech giant said the descriptions and feature lists in the Chrome Web Store are instrumental in helping people make informed decisions on whether or not they truly need a particular extension. It found that users are less likely to uninstall an add-on if it came from the official extension portal.

Google has started enforcing the new rule by blocking inline installation for all extensions first published today, June 12th, 2018. The company will then disable the ability for existing extensions starting on September 12th. Even if users click on a link elsewhere on the internet, they'll still be redirected to the Chrome Web Store. Finally, Google will completely kill the inline install API from Chrome 71 in early December 2018 to completely remove it from developers' options.

"We're proud of the choices the Chrome Web Store provides users in enhancing their browsing experience," Extensions Platform Product Manager James Wagner said in his announcement. "At the same time, it's crucial that users have robust information about extensions prior to installation, so that they fully understand how their browsing experience will be impacted. We're confident this change will improve transparency for all users about their extension choices in Chrome."

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