Tonight at the Googleplex in Mountain View, Google held an event to formally unveil and showcase the new Google Chrome Extensions. The browser add-ons, which launched just yesterday are already proving to be quite popular among both users and maybe more importantly, developers. Tonight Google announced that while they launched with around 300 extensions yesterday, that number has already grown to 480, and will hit 500 tonight.
And it’s easy to see why after tonight’s presentation. Two software engineers on the Chrome team, Aaron Boodman and Erik Kay built a working in extension live from scratch in front of the audience in about five minutes. And it wasn’t just a demo “Hello World” extension, it was a useful one that can pop-up a Gmail message window populated with a link to the page you’re on.
The reason they’re so easy to build is because they use the same technology that any web developer will already be familiar with. “Extensions are just web pages,” Kay noted.
Another thing of note said tonight was that Chrome extensions will be working on the new Chrome for Mac by the end of the week, Google expects. To be clear, this will be on the dev channel (which you can find on this page) and not the beta channel just yet. Full support (and the first actual release of Chrome for Mac) is expected by early 2010.
This dev channel Mac support of extensions shouldn’t surprise users of Chromium, the open-source browser that Chrome is built-off of. Extensions are currently working in the latest Mac builds of Chromium, but Google accidentally shut off the ability to install them (you can learn how to easily turn them back on here). And with the beta channel now out for Mac, the dev channel versions of Chrome will be built directly off of newer Chromium builds.