Chrome Web Store

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Chrome Web Store
Chrome Web Store logo
Chrome-google-com-webstore.png
URL https://chrome.google.com/webstore
Project status Endangered
Archiving status Not saved yet
Project source Unknown
Project tracker Unknown
IRC channel #chromeweblore (on hackint)
Project lead Unknown

Chrome Web Store is a Google site that allows developers to publish add-ons to the Chrome browser. These include extensions, apps, and themes. The Chrome Web Store also has a games section, which contains apps that are games. Additionally, some apps on the Chrome Web Store are simply links to websites that function like apps.

Google has announced a timeline of policy changes that will lead to content being removed between December 1, 2020 and June 2022.

Chrome Apps

A Chrome app is a web application that runs on the Chrome browser. These were originally supported on Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chrome OS, but support on all but Chrome OS is now very limited. Google removed the apps section of the store for Windows, Mac, and Linux in December 2017, though it is still possible to install apps on these platforms with a direct link. [1]

Google has since announced a timeline for the complete removal of apps. [2] [3]

March 2020: Chrome Web Store stopped accepting new public Chrome apps. Developers will be able to update existing Chrome apps through June 2022. Enterprise administrators may continue to submit new private and unlisted Chrome apps to the Chrome Web Store.

June 2021: General support for Chrome Apps on Windows, Mac, and Linux will end June 2021. Organizations will be able to use a policy setting to extend support on Windows, Mac, and Linux through June 2022. General support for Chrome Apps on Chrome OS will remain enabled, without requiring any policy setting, through June 2022.

June 2022: Chrome Web Store will stop accepting new and updated private and unlisted Chrome apps. End support for Chrome Apps, NaCl, PNaCl, and PPAPI for all platforms.

Chrome Extensions

Chrome extensions add functionality to the browser. Google has announced that it is shutting down its payment system for paid extensions. Free trials for paid extensions will end on December 1, 2020, and all payment support will end on February 1, 2021. Many such extensions have a free base version with in-app purchases. [4] [5]

Additionally, manifest version 2 Chrome Extensions may be removed from the Chrome Web Store once manifest version 3 is finalized. (There was a period of about 1 year, 3 months following the replacement of manifest version 1 with manifest version 2 before manifest version 1 extensions began to be removed.[6]).

Statistics

On June 30, 2020, DebugBear found 137,345 extensions and 39,263 themes. They didn't attempt to find apps. Of these, 4.7% had some form of payment support. Within paid extensions, 86.4% required a one-off payment, 6.3% had in-app purchases, and the remainder had a subscription model. [7] DebugBear uploaded the list to GitHub. [8]

On August 2, 2019, Extension Monitor reported 188,620 extensions. While the write-up doesn't make a distinction, DebugBear believed this included apps. [9]

Archiving

Apps and extensions can be downloaded as .crx files from Google's CDN. [10]

Crx4Chrome has a large collection of .crx files for both apps and extensions. This includes older versions of apps/extensions, which in many cases are still downloadable from Google's CDN. [11]

CRXcavator, operated by Cisco's Duo Security division, scans the entire Chrome Web Store every three hours for new or updated Chrome extensions. This site then performs a security assessment on each extension. This site also stores the source code for each discovered extension version and makes this data accessible to the public. This site launched around early 2019, so extensions that were removed before that time are not included in the site's collection. [12]

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