As anticipated, Google has taken the first step to launch full extension support for its Chrome browser. Starting today, Google is allowing developers to upload the extensions they are making to the new Extensions Gallery. This gallery isn’t yet open for Chrome users to test out, but Google is saying that they will open it to “trusted testers” in the next few days.
If you are a developer working on an extension, you can simply agree to Google’s terms and upload your extension to the gallery right now. One of those terms is that Google has the right to review your extension before it’s published, but they are saying they will only do that if it includes “include an NPAPI component and all content scripts that affect “file://” URLs.” Google goes on to note that “For security reasons, developers of these types of extensions will need to provide some additional information before they can post them in the gallery.” Fair enough.
As we noted a few days ago, there are already some Google-made extensions that are working in Chrome now, such as a Gmail Checker, which is handy. These were mainly made to be examples in helping walk developers through the extension creation process. You can find their documentation on that here. Google promises the whole process (both creating and updating extensions) is simple.
Extensions are important to the growth of Chrome as they are one of the most popular features of Firefox, the browser that has been able to best combat Microsoft’s Internet Explorer over the past several years. Of course, Google is the biggest backer of Firefox-maker Mozilla, so the growing rivalry between the two is interesting.
Last Thursday, Google also showed off Chrome OS, it’s operating system based on the Chrome browser, for the first time. And in the next few weeks, a beta version of Chrome for Mac is slated to launch. It’s worth noting that the test extensions already work in the dev builds of Chrome for Mac.