Google Gives Developers New Chrome App Audit Tool

Chris CrumDeveloper & Design

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Google announced the release of a new version of its Chrome Apps & Extensions Developer Tool, which will let users audit apps or extensions to see what actions they're performing.

The tool was first launched last year without this functionality. It gives developers tools for debugging apps and extensions.

"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," writes Google software engineer Adrienne Porter Felt.

The new functionality will let you get an idea of just what the apps are up to.

"Once you’ve installed the Chrome Apps & Extensions Developer Tool, it will start locally auditing your extensions and apps as you use them," Felt explains. "For each app or extension, you can see historical activity over the past few days as well as real-time activity by clicking the “Behavior” link. The tool highlights activities that involve your information, such as reading website cookies or modifying web sites, in a privacy section. You can also search for URLs to see if an extension has modified any matching pages. If you’re debugging an app or extension, you can use the “Realtime” tab to watch the stream of API calls as an extension or app runs. This can help you track down glitches or identify unnecessary API calls."

Google recently made it so that all Chrome extensions for Windows live in the Chrome Web Store.

Image via Google

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.