Google has announced the new version of its Chrome Apps & Extensions Developer Tool that now comes with a new 'audit' feature that let users keep track of what their Chrome Apps and extensions are up to. The previous version of the Chrome Apps & Extensions Developer Tool was released by Google earlier this year but without the audit feature.
The new version of the tool is said to be for power users and developers, letting them know what actions the different Chrome Apps and extensions they have installed/ developed are performing.
"Extensions are a great way to enhance the browsing experience. However, some extensions ask for broad permissions that allow access to sensitive data such as browser cookies or history," says Adrienne Porter Felt, a Google software engineer in the Google Chromium blog titled "See what your apps & extensions have been up to".
With this feature in the new Chrome Apps & Extensions Developer Tool, users besides tracking the history of actions taken by different Chrome Apps and extensions, can also click on the 'Behavior' option to see what actions are being performed at that very moment. Developers can also use the 'Realtime' tab to watch the stream of API calls while an app or extension works.
Once installed, the Chrome Apps & Extensions Developer Tool starts auditing each Chrome App and Extension as people use them. The tool showcases activities that include user-related information, such as website cookies or modifying websites, in the privacy section. Users can also search for URLs to see if an extension has modified any matching pages.
In March, Google announced new developer tools and services for the Chrome Web Store, with the aim to help automate the publishing process, and monetise products. The update is focused on easy app, extension and theme management options for developers.
With the changes, developers can now be able to offer packaged apps as free trials. Packaged apps are those apps created by the developer that do not use browser action or page action, and are capable of running offline. Chrome Web Store managed in-app purchases have also been added to packaged apps.