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Apple now charges Safari extension developers for distribution

Blair Hanley Frank | June 10, 2015
Developers who build extensions for Safari will have to choose between paying Apple and having their browser add-ons pulled from the company's extension gallery later this year, thanks to policy changes the company announced Monday.

Extension developers may also choose to pick up iOS or OS X development, since they already have a developer account that lets them distribute apps for Apple's mobile and desktop platforms. The change also isn't that much of a hardship for developers who already have an Apple Developer Program membership to distribute an existing iOS or OS X app.

Finally, it will help Apple keep a lid on malicious extensions that could hurt a user's browsing experience, in large part because Apple will now be hosting the extensions that are distributed through the gallery. The company can check extensions for malicious code before distributing them and will be able to bar developers from the Extensions Gallery if need be.

Its fees may be unique, but Apple isn't the only browser maker that wants more direct control over extensions. Google recently barred all Chrome users from installing extensions that aren't distributed through the Chrome Web Store (which doesn't charge developers for participation) to cut down on malicious activity.

 

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