If you compare how Google Chrome and Firefox handle browser and extension updates, you may come to the conclusion that Firefox is more transparent than Google Chrome, as it displays update notifications prior to the update to the user.
Chrome on the other hand updates automatically with no notification whatsoever prior or after the update.
Update: New versions of Chrome change the color of the Hamburger icon in the browser toolbar to indicate that an update is available. The extensions listed below are not available anymore, and there does not appear to be a comparable add-on available right now for Chrome. The closest is Update Notifier, but it provides you with information after the fact, and only for Chrome and not browser extensions.
This can be a problem. Not only on home systems but especially for companies and organizations with strict rules regarding software updates on the company network and computers. Why? Because updates may break or change features for instance, or may cause incompatibilities with other programs.
Chrome Update Notifier, and Chrome Update Notifier Plus, are two extensions for the Chrome web browser that display update notifications to the user. The notifications are displayed after updates of the browser or extensions.
Depending on the extension used, they provide details such as the updated item's name, version and a link to the official homepage that often may list additional information about the update.
Why two versions for the same extension? The latest development builds of Google Chrome now offer the means to monitor extension updates as well.
Chrome Update Notifier, which is compatible with all versions of Chrome only notifies the user if Chrome itself was updated to a new version. Chrome Update Notifier Plus, which is only compatible with Google Chrome 8 adds extension update notifications.
It will take some time until the beta and stable editions of the Google browser start supporting this new feature.
Please note that the extension won't inform you about updates before they are executed. You may also find the Extensions Update Notifier interesting as it informs you about extension updates. Even better, it links to the changelog so that you can read what has changed in the update.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.