Starting next year, extensions for Google Chrome and most other Chromium-based browsers will have to rely on a new extension manifest. Manifest V3 defines the limits within which extensions can operate.
Current Chromium extensions mostly use Manifest V2, although the January 2023 deadline looms over the heads of all extension developers.
Google is using its power to push Manifest v3, and most Chromium-based browsers, including Microsoft Edge, will follow suit. As of January 2023, extensions must support Manifest v3 exclusively to be listed in the Chrome Web Store. There is a company policy to extend the blocking of Manifest v2 support in Chrome for six months, but Google has already announced that it will not extend this, despite delays in releasing all APIs for them. developers.
By June 2022, Chrome and most Chromium-based browsers will no longer support Manifest v2 extensions. The installed ones will be automatically deactivated, as they are no longer compatible. Those offered on the Chrome Web Store will disappear unless their developers release an update to make them compatible with the new Manifest v3.
Mozilla announced early on that it would also support Manifest v3, but would continue to support important APIs that Google restricted in Manifest v3. Probably the most important of all is the WebRequest API. Widely used by content blockers to filter certain elements, it was replaced by a less powerful option in Manifest v3.
While Manifest v3 does not mean the end of content blocking on Chrome, Edge, and other Chromium-based browsers, it may limit capabilities under certain circumstances. Users who install a single content blocker and no other extensions based on the same relevant API may not notice much of a change, but those who like to add custom filter lists or use multiple extensions based on the API may come up against artificial limits. defined by Google.
AdGuard recently launched a Manifest v3 compatible ad blocker, and it will show warning messages if its operation is restricted in the browser.
Mozilla reaffirmed this week that its plan has not changed. In “These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 124,” the organization confirms that it will support Manifest v2’s WebRequst API alongside Manifest v3.
Again, a reminder that Mozilla plans to continue supporting the WebRequest API blocking Manifest v2 (this API powers, for example, uBlock Origin) while simultaneously supporting Manifest v3.
This is good news for web browser users who use content blockers such as uBlock Origin. The extension, which its developer claims works best in Firefox, is the most popular extension for Firefox based on number of installs and ratings.