Google starts to wave goodbye to plug-ins

Unfortunately, with the recent release of Chrome version 42, Google has begun the process of discontinuing support for plug-ins. This change will impact all Media Shuttle, Media Exchange and Transfer API users that are using Chrome version 42+.

Basically, Google is removing support for Netscape Plug-in API (NPAPI) from Chrome, which will affect all applications that utilize NPAPI plug-ins. The Signiant native browser plug-in and Java applet require NPAPI in order to function, but this is far from unique to our technology. It’s impacting ALL web products that are using plug-ins with Chrome. Here’s an article on other industries that are struggling with it as well.

If you’re used to using Chrome, we know it sucks to switch browsers, but we have to recommend it for now. While you can still use Chrome, Google is making it very difficult to load plug-ins and requires you to take several tedious manual steps to enable them.

We are working on a solution and even had one in place several weeks ago in Shuttle. But we pulled back on launching it after seeing other companies’ similar solution that didn’t meet our user experience standards. So, we are in the process of doing some small modifications to the UX with Chrome.

In the long term, we are planning to address this with a new implementation on the clients that will eliminate the need for browser plug-ins altogether, just in case this happens again with Chrome or to any other browser.

Impact on Media Shuttle end-users

If using Chrome 42+, Media Shuttle end-users are required to perform a series of manual steps to enable the plug-in. Again, we highly recommend that Media Shuttle users use an alternate browser – Firefox, Safari or Internet Explorer. There have been no changes to these browsers and Media Shuttle users will be able to quickly send and share files as expected.

If you MUST use Chrome with Media Shuttle, we will still support it

If you simply must use Chrome, Media Shuttle can be used with Chrome only after you’ve performed a series of manual steps in the browser. Detailed instructions are displayed in the browser when you attempt to use Chrome.

A pop up message with instructions on how to enable NPAPI in the Chrome browser settings will appear, including the following steps:

1. Type or copy/paste chrome://flags/#enable-npapi into your browser to launch the Chrome setting page

2. Find the ‘Enable NPAPI’ option and click Enable

3. Click “Relaunch Now” button

 

Impact on Media Exchange users

Media Exchange customers using the Java Applet, please make the following changes:

Option 1:  Signiant strongly recommends that Media Exchange customers implement the Signiant Java-less plug-in to replace the Java plug-in. A pop-up message will inform users of the upcoming Google Chrome changes in April and September. Please contact Signiant Customer Support (support@signiant.com) to take steps to utilize the Java-less plug-in with your Media Exchange deployment.

Option 2:  An alternative to implementing the Signiant Java-less plug-in is to upgrade Media Exchange software at your site so that Chrome users can be alerted with the pop up message instructions described above.  This alternative will aid the use of the Java applet with Chrome until September 2015, when Google will discontinue NPAPI.

The following releases have been updated and can be downloaded from our software portal:

  • 11.3 LA2
  • 11.2 LA3
  • 11.1 LA6
  • 11.0 LA4
  • 10.6 LA8

Important: The Java plugin will no longer work in Chrome browsers in September 2015 due to decisions by Google (Chrome) and Oracle (Java). Although it would be possible to continue to use the Java applet through other web browsers, we expect other browser vendors to follow Google’s lead in discontinuing NPAPI support at a future date.

Thank you for your patience with this as we work out the kinks. Please contact us at support@signiant.com if you have any trouble… or if you just want to say “hi.”