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StopTheMadness for Mac adds Chrome, Edge, and Brave!

February 13 2020 by Jeff Johnson
To support this blog please buy my apps StopTheMadness and Underpass

Announcement:

StopTheMadness, the beloved and highly rated Safari and Firefox extension in the Mac App Store, has added support for Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Brave. That's five web browsers supported for one purchase! A one-time purchase, not a subscription. The new version 11.0 of StopTheMadness is released today and available now worldwide. It's fully compatible with macOS Sierra and later, including the current macOS Catalina.

StopTheMadness stops web sites from making your browser harder to use. And it protects your privacy on the web! Many web sites disable user interface features in your browser that you normally expect to work on your Mac, but StopTheMadness ensures that those features continue to work for you in your browser. For example: ⌘-key shortcuts, ⌘-click to open a link in a new tab, opening contextual menus, drag and drop, selecting, copying, cutting, and pasting of text. StopTheMadness also stops sites from tracking you on the web via hyperlink auditing, beacons, clickjacking, URL tags, and other invisible tracking methods. It stops video auto-play! It stops Safari from auto-submitting login forms. And more! See the home page for a full list of StopTheMadness features.

Background:

Why am I expanding browser support now? There are several reasons. First, Microsoft Edge has recently come to the Mac, and people have been asking me about it. Second, I've been having a lot of trouble with StopTheMadness in the Chrome Web Store. Google has practically declared war on paid Chrome extensions, and there's no end in sight, or any communication from Google. Allegedly, Google's actions are in response to some kind of mysterious, unspecified fraudulent transactions in the Chrome Web Store, but longtime legitimate extension developers have been severely obstructed and unfairly punished as a result. For a month, I've been blocked from releasing any updates to StopTheMadness in the Chrome Web Store. Other extensions have been mistakenly removed entirely from the Chrome Web Store by Google, often with little if any warning. Even an extension with millions of users such as Dashlane password manager can be arbitrarily and summarily removed by Google.

These recent troubles were the final straw for me, because in general, StopTheMadness sales have been very low in the Chrome Web Store compared to the Mac App Store. I think there's a culture that just expects Chrome extensions for free. I've also heard people express reluctance to use Google Pay, because they don't trust Google to protect their privacy. The problem for StopTheMadness, however, is that Google does not support distribution of Chrome extensions outside the Chrome Web Store. Fortunately for me, and you, there's nonetheless still a way to install Chrome extensions from outside the Chrome Web Store. I've long been reluctant to explore this possibility, for fear of provoking Google (not to mention Apple), but at this point the Chrome Web Store fiasco has left me with little choice. Thus, in StopTheMadness version 11.0, you can now install the extension for Google Chrome (as well as Microsoft Edge and Brave) using "Developer mode".

Developer mode is just a switch in the Chrome Extensions window. Developer mode allows Chrome extension developers to install and develop their own extension on their own computer. After all, if the Chrome Web Store were truly the only way to install Chrome extensions, then it would be impossible for extension developers to create the extensions in the first place. Philosophically, it's the chicken and egg problem! This exception to the Chrome Web Store policy must exist. And now I'm using it to distribute StopTheMadness for Chromium browsers.

Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Brave are all based on the Chromium open source project, which is why I was able to add support for all three browsers at once. The extension installation method is the same. Once you enable Developer mode in the Extensions window, installing StopTheMadness involves just dragging a folder from the StopTheMadness Mac app and dropping the folder into the browser Extensions window. The good news is that you only need to do this once for a browser. The StopTheMadness extension itself is embedded inside the StopTheMadness Mac app, so whenever you update the app in the Mac App Store, the Chrome, Edge, or Brave extension is automatically updated too! You'll see instructions on how to install each extension when you run the StopTheMadness app, and instructions can also be found on the web.

StopTheMadness version 11.0 is available now in the Mac App Store. Whether you use Safari, Firefox, Chrome, Edge, Brave, or all of them, StopTheMadness is there for you. Enjoy the update, and please spread the word. Small indie developers like me can only survive via word of mouth advertising. Thank you!

To support this blog please buy my apps StopTheMadness and Underpass

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