Chrome Extension via Remote websites
News | 06/14/2018

Google Removes the Option of Installing Chrome Extensions via Remote Websites

About: The apps or extensions published by the developers can be accessed and downloaded by the users either from official Chrome web Store or from remote websites. Provision to download from the latter is misused by the developers to mislead users to downl...  Read More  

| News | Google Removes the Option of Installing Chrome Extensions via Remote Websites

Inline installation, another name for installing Chrome Extensions via Remote websites is a powerful distribution mechanism that not only allows developers to reach more users but also offers easy installation of apps and extension.

However, Google’s recent plans to gradually disable inline installations has a reason. Let us see what it is?

What is inline installation?

The apps or extensions published by the developers can be accessed and downloaded by the users either from official Chrome web Store or from remote websites. However, downloading from the latter is cumbersome as the user is redirected to the store first where the installation process is completed and then returned to the site.

However to make the process easier, Google Chrome 15 and ongoing versions allowed the users to initiate the app and extension installations “inline” from the remote site. Chrome web store still hosts the apps and extensions, but allows userto install the extensions just by clicking a button on a third-party website without having them to visit Chrome Web Store page.

Remote Installation

Remote Installation of malicious Chrome extension

Google’s plans to disable inline installation from Remote Websites

Ease of installation of third party program via Inline installation prevents users from visiting the Chrome web Store Listing, where bad ratings or negative user reviews are listed to warn users about the extension’s real behavior.

Majority of developers are known to have misused this inline feature by pairing there installations with ads and landing pages that misleads users into installing unwanted malicious extensions.

By removing the option of installing Chrome Extensions via Remote websites, any attempts to trigger inline installations will redirect the user to Chrome Web Store Listing. However repeated abuse of inline installations may result in selectively disabling it.

Phase-out process to disable inline installation is spread across three stages

  1. Extensions published from June 12, 2018 implementing inline installation will be redirected to Chrome Web Store in a new tab to complete the installation.This means if developers attempt to distribute extensions via inline installations, they will need to update the install button to link it to Chrome Web Store page.
  2. Inline installation for existing extensions will be disabled from September 12, 2018.
  3. The inline install API method will be removed from Chrome 71 in December 2018.

 

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