Several years have passed since Google first announced plans to retire its Manifest V2 browser API, and after having made several empty promises and revisions, spent much of 2022 in and out of readiness for its successor, Manifest V3.
However, the company has now delayed the transition from Manifest V2 to Manifest V3 once again, meaning that it lives on for a little longer.
While Chrome stopped accepting new Manifest V2 extensions last year, and stopped visibility changes for existing V2 extensions, Google’s plans for 2023 and 2024 have been postponed.
In an email (opens in new tab) to developers, Developer Relations Engineer Oliver Dunk explained that the company is still working on a phase-out plan for MV2 and that a turn-off for MV2 is still several months away.
“We remain committed to the rollout of MV3 to improve security, privacy, and performance for our users around the world,” he noted.
The email covers Google’s plan to roll out MV2 “in a timely manner” and that feedback continues to be crucial. An MV2 phase-out plan is expected “in the coming months” and developers can expect “at least 6 months of heads-up”, emphasizing the lengthy delay for the much-anticipated MV3.
With June 2023 plans to unlist public MV2 extensions and January 2024 plans to both stop accepting MV2 extension updates and the removal of MV2 extensions all on hold, developers are beginning to lose faith in MV3 with one saying that it will arrive when Apple’s headset arrives (another much-anticipated but delayed product) (via The Register (opens in new tab)).
The move to MV3 has also sparked some disgruntlement among Internet users over fears that ad-blockers will no longer work on Chromium-based browsers, virtually putting an end to any hope of private browsing.
TechRadar Pro has reached out to Google for any further information about the transition from MV2 to MV3 and what is being done to support developers in the meantime.