What’s Manifest V3?

On Episode 167 of the K12 Tech Talk podcast, Josh, Chris, and Mark discussed Manifest V3.

Manifest V3 is the latest version of the extension manifest file format for Google Chrome and other Chromium-based browsers. The manifest file is a metadata file that provides information about an extension, like permissions, content strips, and background processes. Manifest V3 is a change in how Chrome and Chromium-based browsers handle extensions, focusing on security, performance, and user control. These changes require developers to update their extensions to comply with the new standards… which has led to some controversy and pushback.

Josh – Okay, but what’s Manifest V3? It’s a change in how the extensions in Google Chrome work and how they are programmed. Google tried rolling out Manifest V3 a couple of years ago and there was so much outcry from companies and users that they kicked it down the road, and then COVID happened, and they kicked it down the road some more. Apparently, now, they do have a hard date – this summer. 

Listener Larry has been receiving emails from his content filter company saying “Hey, Manifest, it’s coming, and we have to change the way our extension works. And we have to comply with Manifest V3. And, to do that, there are actually some hardware requirements. All of your devices, all of your Chromebooks, have to be running Chrome OS version 110 or newer.” 

You might not think that’s a problem, right? But Larry’s school has a couple Chromeboxes and Chromebooks that are older. Some of them have been out of support for three, four years. And they’ve been just working. So, Larry’s kept using them. 

Basically, this is a warning to our listeners (and readers). If you’re running Chromebooks or Chromeboxes or Chromebits, Chrome devices, that have fallen out of auto update support and they’ve been out of support for a while (older than 110), then the extensions on those are going to stop working.

A content filter that is extension-based could be a problem.

It is definitely going to be worth touching base with your companies that have extensions built into your browser’s to see how they are handling Manifest V3. And, if you are running old Chrome devices, you’re going to have a problem.

Mark – Chris, are you worried? Josh seems to be like, we’re all going to die with Manifest.

Chris – I’m not worried about it.

Mark – Yeah, I’m in the same boat. It’s going to be fine.

*Josh starts crying*

Resources to check out:

https://www.theverge.com/2024/5/30/24168057/google-chrome-extension-change-manifest-v3-ad-blockers

https://www.gizchina.com/2023/11/20/google-chrome-manifest-v3-extensions/

https://www.theverge.com/2023/11/16/23964509/google-manifest-v3-rollout-ad-blockers

https://www.techradar.com/pro/how-chromes-manifest-v3-will-change-the-game-for-ad-blockers

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