After almost 2 years in development Manifest v3 has made its way into Chrome 88 Beta (link) which I assume will mean that it is in Chrome 88 (link) but that being said, there is still more work to be done such as increase the filter limit from 30,000 in Chrome 88 to 300.000 in Chrome 89 along with taking onboard feedback from third party developers to ease the transition. For example, although the developer behind uBlock Origin wasn’t happy with the changes when Manifest V3 was originally announced it appears that he looking at the possibility of bringing it to v3 even if it means a few features are missing (link). I think that we’ll eventually see developers come around – in a perfect world these changes wouldn’t be necessary because there wouldn’t be malware and other dodgy software but alas we need to build in safeguards into software to keep users safe and by keeping users safe it keeps the extension ecosystem health so that users feel safe trying out new extensions without fear of their browser or computer being hijacked.
It will be interesting to see how WebExtensions API develops on Safari given Apple’s reluctance to implement parts of the API or change the functionality of such parts of the API to tight up security and privacy. The interesting part will be whether the changes in implementation will be adopted in part or fully by the likes of Firefox (just as they implemented some of the less controversial manifest v3 changes (link) gradually). Although Safari 14 had very basic support it was noted on the WWDC session that it is the beginning of a much richer implementation but like anything in life you have to start somewhere. I hope that eventually that it’ll get to the point of rivalling Chrome and Firefox in terms of ease of portability for third party developers – maybe be even lucky enough to see a return of uBlock Origin? one can always dream I guess.
Samsung released their Galaxy S21 series which features the new SoC based on ARM designs rather than using their own in-house designs (which came under fire last year due to the massive gap in performance and battery life between the Exynos and Qualcomm versions). Although there were rumours of a SoC featuring an AMD GPU it appears that it’ll be in next years SoC. It will be interesting to see whether Samsung utilise the open source driver and build on it to support the AMD GPU or whether Samsung will rely on a binary from AMD for support. Part of me wishes that Android vendors would push towards using components whose drivers are 100% open source as to avoid the whole fiasco that Google is trying to do right now by working on a stable driver API in the linux kernel. The interesting part will be whether Samsung next year, with the relationship they have with AMD, take their ARM based SoC beyond smartphones and maybe look at delivering ARM based Windows or ChromeOS computers.