Google today removed apps and extensions that use the Netscape Plugin Application Programming Interface (NPAPI) from the Chrome Web Store home page, search results, and category pages. The company also revealed plans to block webpage-instantiated NPAPI plug-ins using the harder-to-bypass page-action blocking UI as of Chrome 37.

Back in September 2013, Google declared plans to drop NPAPI support in Chrome, starting with blocking webpage-instantiated plugins in January. Over the last few quarters, Google says it has seen an overall 12.9 percent drop in per-user instantiations of NPAPI plug-ins and declining usage of the most popular NPAPI plug-ins:

npapi drop Google removes NPAPI apps and extensions from Chrome Web Store homepage, search results, and category pages

Google hopes that killing of NPAPI support will “improve Chrome’s security, speed, and stability as well as reduce complexity in the code base.” The company argues that most use cases that previously required NPAPI are now supported by JavaScript-based open Web technologies, and the rest are covered by its Native Client option. In September 2014, Google plans to unpublish all NPAPI-based apps and extensions permanently, although existing installations will continue to work until Chrome fully removes support for NPAPI.

NPAPI deprecation: developer guide

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