As much as we love Chrome OS, there’s always room for improvement, Like any other operating system, it has its shortcomings, quirks and sometimes just flat out issues that need to be addressed.
One particular area that is in desperate need of some polishing is the Chrome Web Store. With Android and Linux apps now a reality for most Chromebook users, it should be a priority, in my opinion, that Google
We’ll talk more at length on that later but for now, it looks like the Chrome team is offering a little bit of assistance in the Extensions department of the Web Store.
If I had to pinpoint one particular “thing” that would be the biggest security and/or resource depleting problem in Chrome and Chrome OS, Extensions would be at or near the top of the list.
Don’t get me wrong, they can be a wonderful thing and good ones can enhance the user experience ten-fold. The problem is that the Chrome Web Store is in dire need of some housekeeping. There are countless extensions that go unchecked by developers and sadly, many of them are uploaded to the Store with malicious intent.
Browser hijacks, data scraping and even crypto-mining can all be done by extensions that are disguised as harmless, or even
While a massive overhaul of the Chrome Web Store is certainly much-needed, Chrome developers are now experimenting with a tool that will allow users to track extension activity in real time.
Add a real time tab so users can see what their extensions are doing in real-time. This achieves feature parity with the real-time tab for the activity log in Chrome Apps and Extensions Developer ToolCR Bug Tracker
The feature, which has yet to make its way to the Canary Channel, will let users start and stop “recording” sessions that show extension activity. Extension Activity Logging, as the flag has been named, could give users insight into extensions that may be performing processes outside of their intended purpose. This, in turn, could key developers into those extensions that may have slipped into the Web Store with malicious intent.
On a less alarming front, the feature could also assist in identifying extensions that may be using vital CPU and RAM resources when not a priority. Once pinpointed, users could easily enable/disable essential extensions to enhance the performance of their devices.
To follow along with the Extension Activity Logging development, head to the CR Bug Tracker and star the issue for updates. We’ll keep close watch for this flag to pop up and report back with a first look when available.