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Google Chrome's Side Panel to Enable Extensions to Improve User's Surfing Experience

CIO Insider Team | Monday, 29 May, 2023
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The desktop version of Google Chrome's side panel will soon enable Manifest V3 extensions that aim to display an interface to improve users' surfing experience.

The current version of the Chrome extension platform is Manifest V3 or Manifest Version 3.

Side panels can be launched by clicking the existing button next to the address bar, selecting it from the drop-down menu, or even tapping the shortcut key.

“The Side Panel API allows extensions to display their own UI (user interface) in the side panel, enabling persistent experiences that complement the user's browsing journey,” according to the Chrome developers page.

According to reports, additional Google products that use side panels include Lens, Journeys, the UI for customizing browser appearance, and, coming soon, Reading Mode.

The move will support developers in conducting real-world experiments that assess the readiness and effectiveness of their products without third-party cookies, said Anthony Chavez, VP, Privacy Sandbox.

Meanwhile, Google has announced that it will transition one percent of Chrome users to Privacy Sandbox and phase off third-party cookies in Q1 2024.

Google seeks to transfer one percent of Chrome users to Privacy Sandbox and block third-party cookies for them beginning in early 2024, the firm stated today. Google's aim to phase out third-party cookies entirely by the second half of 2024 remains on track.

Furthermore, with the July release of Chrome 115, Google is making Privacy Sandbox's relevance and measurement APIs publicly available to all Chrome users, allowing developers to test these APIs with live traffic. Google has no plans to make significant modifications to the API following this release.

It's worth mentioning that Chrome users can already enable the Privacy Sandbox trials. Since the release of the Chrome 101 beta, the APIs have been available for testing. However, this is clearly not the same as being able to test these APIs at scale.

The Side Panel API is available to Manifest V3 extensions and is 'currently available in Chrome Beta 114'.

The move will support developers in conducting real-world experiments that assess the readiness and effectiveness of their products without third-party cookies, said Anthony Chavez, VP, Privacy Sandbox.

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