Restricting extension APIs in legacy packaged apps

Thursday, November 15, 2012

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Even though Chrome extensions and legacy packaged apps are similar at a technical level, users have very different expectations for how extensions and apps should look and behave. Users expect extensions to interact with the whole browser, whereas they expect apps to act solely in their containing tab or window.

Until now, all Chrome legacy packaged apps could request the same permissions and use the same APIs as extensions to interact with Chrome. In order to make the capabilities of legacy packaged apps more closely align with user expectations, we’ve decided to limit the extensions permissions that legacy packaged apps can request.

Beginning this week, you won’t be able to publish legacy packaged apps in the Chrome Web Store that request any of the following permissions:
(a) any host permissions, including "< all urls >
(b) the top-level "content_scripts" key 
(c) the "debugger", "devtools", "pageCapture", "plugin", "proxy", "tabs'", "history", "webNavigation" permissions 
(d) the top-level "npapi" key 

Existing legacy packaged apps in the Chrome Web Store will not be affected, and those existing apps can continue to be updated without being subject to these new restrictions. 

If you have questions, please get in touch with us on the Chromium extensions or Chromium apps groups.

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