Fire up your desktop and for a moment take a look at all those bygone desktop apps. How many out of those did you actually fire up in the last few years? And how many of them have very capable web app alternatives that you can use?
Maybe a few years back, web apps and browser extensions were slow, buggy, and feature-limited, and they obviously didn’t work offline. But, with the recent leap frogging in browser technologies, that is no longer the case.
We will specifically concentrate on chrome extensions in this article. Why !! because chrome has 67% of Browser Market Share Worldwide as of 2018. So, Obviously, there cannot be any denial when it comes to Chrome’s popularity. So, what exactly are these chrome extensions that make life so much simpler? Ummm…. Chrome extensions are little programs that you have to download from the app store.
Okay ! What does it do? Now obviously, if you are a geek, you know exactly what chrome extensions are and how they function. But, not taking it for granted that everyone have a lot of idea about chrome extensions; let’s see what it does and why chrome extension development is very essential for a lot of businesses!
These powerful little programs can power up the entire browsing experience and supercharge your browser to make your online life easier. Think of it this way.. You have a vacuum cleaner at home that pretty much is restricted to one single task - Cleaning. Using a few add ons, you can upgrade it to a ROBOT! And, do everything all at once ! And you have no dependencies with any other program, like you generally would when you are downloading a program from marketplace.
The main thing is that if you use chrome and you are not using chrome extensions, then you are limiting a swiss knife just into cutting vegetables :-). Don’t believe me ? Take a clear look at the advantages of chrome extension for yourself then.
1. Just as you can sync bookmarks and preferences, you can also sync the chrome extensions across all your personal devices. Any copy of chrome where you are logged in with your google account will have the same chrome extensions as the actual machine you installed the chrome extensions into. So, no need to download, install and configure them again and again.
2. No Internet on the go? Don’t sulk! You can still have a productive day on your laptop if you did some preliminary prep work beforehand. Google Chrome has a few tricks up its sleeve for these situations too ;) The Chrome web store has a lot of chrome extensions that are accessible offline. Games, productivity apps, entertainment apps and a lot others ! Go check it out here
3. Remember googling names of applications and hovering through pages to find the link to download that application virus free ? Also, if you somehow managed to download that, when you start working with it, there are some dependencies missing. So frustrating!! With a consolidated Chrome web marketplace, thousands of apps and chrome extensions are available that will fulfill just about any need. Convenient and time saving !
4. Again, chrome extensions are not applications that get installed on your system’s hard drive but they become a part of the browser, so, there is no chance of information loss in case of system failure or system crash. All your data is safe on the cloud and accessible from any system.
5. Notice how Chrome doesn’t send you unwanted notifications for manual updates and doesn’t expect you to restart the browser once done. Same thing with Chrome extensions too. They just update themselves in the background without bothering the user or decreasing productivity. Also, chrome extension works in the background and no matter what different web pages you are on, there is no need to open a new tab and go to the application to see what is happening.
So it’s very evident that, the huge repository of chrome extensions has a solution for almost all our problems and it makes our daily work seem less like a chore. Take a look at a few reasons why businesses actually need chrome extensions development.
[i] The idea of application download is getting distant with every passing day. People don’t want to download apps on their phones nowadays, forget about applications on their PC. It’s also of no surprise that we like simplicity and look for hacks to make our life easier. Chrome extension development is the easiest way around as it doesn’t require users to download any large application but it only requires a few seconds to install the extension. These chrome extensions also sends related notifications every now and then, so that users need not go to the extension to know the updates.
[ii] There are times when you run out of time or have too much work on your mind. Yeah, happens to all. Chrome extension development can help integrate with other services and delegate work - For ex : ”Pocket” offers an extension that helps viewers clip links that they find in different websites to their pocket account which they can view later in any other device.
Obviously, chrome extensions has a lot of features and advantages but there is also no denying of the fact that they pose threats to both privacy and security. Chrome extensions or any kind of extensions has certain special privileges within a browser, so, if an extension is compromised, the larger part of the users with that extension installed becomes vulnerable to malicious intrusions.
In Chrome, when an extension is submitted to the store, there is a wait time before it is published. What happens in that wait time ? Behind the scenes, google conducts a series of rigorous checks to make sure that the extension doesn’t contain any malicious logic that could compromise user privacy and security. This is called Enhanced Item Validation (IEV). There is also a detailed style guide that are provided to the chrome extension development team to tell them what the best practices of chrome extension development are and what practices are discouraged.
[a] While chrome extension development, be careful with your user’s credentials. Use chrome.storage.local instead of window.localStorage as the former one is designed for Chrome Extensions to store data in a central location as it automatically syncs between signed-in Chrome instances, if extensions sync is enabled.
[b] When you think about chrome extension development, think about web-security standards. As these chrome extensions are web applications, they need to follow these principles.
[c] During, chrome extension development, only ask for permissions that are absolutely necessary. Minimal permissions helps to limit damage if your extension or app is compromised by malware.
So what are you waiting for? It’s time for you to find a suitable team for your chrome extension development and turn your idea into reality. See few examples of our Chrome extension development work here.