Google Chrome is growing up, fast. While it's still behind the more fully fleshed browsers in some areas, it's catching up and, at the rate it's developing, Chrome may just become the most feature-rich web browser out there, sooner than you think. Hot on the trail of several improved features, Google has made the move some Firefox users addicted to add-ons have been waiting for since Chrome was launched a year ago, with the announcement that Chrome now has official extension support in the dev releases.
“Extensions are small pieces of software that developers can write to customize the way Google Chrome works. We've been working on enabling extensions for a while, but until now, they were hidden behind a developer flag. As of today, this is no longer true,” Aaron Boodman, software engineer at Google, wrote.
“Removing the flag is the first step in our launch process, and it means we're ready for a few more people to start using extensions – the kind of adventurous people who populate the dev channel,” he added, praising the brave souls using the developer releases.
Chrome has had support for extensions for several months now, here's a round-up of the few that were available a couple of months ago, but actually using them took a little more technical know-how than even many of those testing the developer versions lacked. But the days of the command-line arguments are gone, extensions will be enabled by default for all users employing the Windows version from now on.
This is just a first step and there is still a long way to go towards the full-blown extension ecosystem Firefox enjoys, but, with the feature enabled by default, work is bound to ramp up and the number of available extensions should explode by the time it makes it to the stable release, which will be several months from now at the current pace.