Google Chrome extensions are here for everyone. Well, almost, for everyone who's a developer. The extensions gallery which we've been getting hints of for more than a week now is finally open for business, but for the moment, only to allow developers to upload their extensions. The gallery went live just as Google updated the dev channel to Chrome 18.104.22.168, a small update which fixes a couple of things.
“During the last few months, our team has been working hard to support extensions in Google Chrome's beta channel. Today, we are getting one step closer to this goal; developers can now upload their extensions to Google Chrome's extension gallery. We are making the upload flow available early to make sure that developers have the time to publish their extensions ahead of our full launch,” Lei Zheng, a software engineer at Google, wrote.
This is one of the last steps before launching extension support in the beta version and launching the dedicated gallery. But Google can't launch an empty gallery, so it's giving developers a chance to upload their creations. For the most part, it should be a seamless process, at the very least developers have to submit the code and an icon, but they also have the option to include some text, screenshots of the extension in action, and even a YouTube video describing the functionality.
Google also announced that it would be reviewing some extensions manually, a la Apple App Store, but only those which can interact with a user's file system and those which use the NPAPI (Netscape Plugin Application Programming Interface) to handle certain file types. It's easy to see why Google would need to take more precautions with these extensions. For now the gallery is open for developers and Google plans to open it up to a number of testers in the coming days to make sure everything is going according to plan and also to help out developers with bugs and feedback. Google isn't setting a hard deadline for the launch of extensions support in the beta channel, but it's definitely coming soon.
To see the extensions gallery in action you can download Google Chrome 22.214.171.124 here.