The Developers Postponed the Release of Manifest V3 to 2024

Google engineers report that the release of Manifest V3, which defines the capabilities and limitations for extensions, has once again been postponed. If it was previously planned that from January 2023 the Chrome browser would stop using Manifest V2 extensions altogether, and the transition to the new version of the manifest would be completed in the summer of 2023, now these dates have shifted to 2024.

As the developers now write, the abandonment of the second version of the manifest will be gradual, using an experimental approach.

We want to make sure that developers have all the information they need, and also have enough time to migrate to the new version of the manifest and deploy the changes to users.says Google.

As such, it is now planned that from January 2023, Chrome 112 will begin experiments to disable support for Manifest V2 extensions in the Canary, Dev, and Beta channels. Then, in June 2023, in Chrome 115, it will be possible to experiment with disabling Manifest V2 extension support in all channels, including stable.

The company strongly encourages all developers who manage Manifest V2 extensions to complete their migration to Manifest V3 well in advance “as these extensions may stop working at any time after the above dates.”

As a result, the new schedule for the transition to Manifest V3 is as follows.

  1. In January 2023, using Manifest V3 will become a requirement for the Featured badge in the Chrome Web Store as the Google team raises the bar for extension security.
  2. In June 2023, the Chrome Web Store will no longer allow publishing extensions that use Manifest V2 with the Public visibility setting, and existing extensions will change this setting to Unlisted.
  3. In January 2024, after Manifest V2 expires, all remaining Manifest V2 extensions will be permanently removed from the Chrome Web Store.
We are working with the extension developers to improve Manifest V3 and take into account the feedback received from our community. Based on developer feedback, in recent months we have expanded the functionality of service workers, introduced new APIs, and made a number of other improvements.Google says.

A special progress page has also been launched, where users can track the addition of new features and fixing bugs in Manifest V3.

Let me remind you that the main problem of Manifest V3, which the community has been discussing since 2018, is that it seriously hinders the work of ad blockers, antiviruses, parental control solutions, and various privacy-enhancing products. Representatives of the Electronic Frontier Foundation consider Manifest V3 to be “deceitful and dangerous.”

I would like to note that quite recently the developers of the AdGuard ad blocker talked in detail about the transition to Manifest V3, and what problems they had to face when creating a new version of the ad blocker. In short: there are not enough limits on filtering rules, the syntax of declarative rules is very limited, users cannot view filtering logs, and innovations cause performance problems.

Also recently, the developers of the Vivaldi browser dedicated a large release of Manifest V3, assuring users that they will try to deal with any restrictions that Google implements in the new version of the manifest.
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Daniel Zimmermann

Daniel Zimmermann has been writing on security and malware subjects for many years and has been working in the security industry for over 10 years. Daniel was educated at the Saarland University in Saarbrücken, Germany and currently lives in New York.

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