Google wants developers to keep Chrome extensions simple

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Google has updated Chrome Web Store policy asking developers to keep their extensions for its Chrome web browser as simple as possible such that they have “a single purpose that is narrow and easy-to-understand”.

Google designed Chrome with the idea of supporting only limited extensions that are simple and don’t affect the speed, performance and ease of use of the browser. Google wanted a browser that was clean and simple without being burdened by bulky extensions that take up huge part of a browser’s screen while also slowing it down to a great extent.

To achieve this, Google put into place technical restrictions that prevent full-functional multiple-feature toolbars from working on its browser. However according to Erik Kay, Engineering Director at Google, there are those who have found ways around this and have managed to develop toolbars and extensions with extended features.

This prompted Google to change its Chrome Web Store policy effective immediately for new submissions. Those who already have extensions submitted and approved by Google will have until June 2014 to comply with the new requirements. The policy change effectively means that extensions that package multiple functionalities into one will be required to split up into several individual extensions that cater to a single purpose.

Find the Chrome Web Store policy here and Google’s announcement here.