28
Jan
google-chrome

We've known for a while that Google had plans to bring Chrome apps to Android, the first tangible sign of that project appearing early last month. Today, the first developer preview of Chrome Apps for Mobile went live on GitHub. Now developers can construct apps based on web standards (HTML, CSS, and Javascript) and run them just like any native application built from the Android (or iOS) SDK. These apps don't run inside of a browser or require an Internet connection; plus they can be submitted to the Google Play Store and Apple's App Store.

chrome_icon_color_RGB_edited-1

The platform behind this project is Apache Cordova, an open-source framework that enables web apps to be compiled much like native applications, allowing them access to native operating system functions and hardware sensors like the camera and accelerometer. Research In Motion (now Blackberry) also used a similarly customized version of Cordova to support native web apps on Blackberry 10. While this is the toolchain used to compile the code, it can also be paired with popular UI frameworks like jQuery for rapid development.

This opens up a great option for cross-platform development, where a single code base can run on several different operating systems. Web developers now have an easy path for porting their apps to mobile devices, even adding functionality that couldn't be accessed when their code was limited to a web browser. Unfortunately, we can probably expect a sharp increase in garbage apps from lazy developers and interfaces that don't fit in well with Android.

2014-01-28_11-21-58

If you're interested in getting started with this framework, you'll want to read through the instructions for getting started. Android development requires version 4.4.2 or above of the Android SDK, but it can target any version of Android as far back as Ice Cream Sandwich. The minimum iOS SDK is not specified, but iOS 6 and above are supported. Of course, building for iOS must still be done on Mac OS and your apps must still pass Apple's requirements to enter their App Store. You can also check out several existing sample apps here. Keep in mind that this is still a developer preview, so there will probably be a few bugs to work out.

Sources: GitHub, Developer Forum, Google+ Community, via TheNextWeb

Cody Toombs
Cody is a Software Engineer and Writer with a mildly overwhelming obsession with smartphones and the mobile world. If he’s been pulled away from the computer for any length of time, you might find him talking about cocktails and movies, sometimes resulting in the consumption of both.

  • Frank Lopez

    This is TITS!!

  • James Heyneman

    I'm still hoping for a Chrome Remote Desktop app.

  • mustbepbs

    Does this open the way for casting Android Chrome to the Chromecast?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

      I was going to say No, then I kinda had to pause. Chromecast is still restricted to tabs and and white-listed applications. For the moment, I don't think you can do anything unless your Chromecast device is flagged for development.

      However, once the Chromecast SDK leaves beta, it's supposed to lose the restrictions. When that happens, I don't see a reason why this wouldn't work. There is already Javascript support for websites to offer casting, so there's no good reason it wouldn't work from within one of these.

      • mustbepbs

        You know what, I was thinking extensions, not apps. My bad.

      • cabbiebot

        I have a whitelisted chromecast. What site should I try? Netflix isn't going to work because of Silverlight.

  • darkdude1

    I think this is huge. Finally being able to write apps using just html/css/js,.

  • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

    So can we expect Google to bring over the Chrome Store to Mobile?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

      I wouldn't bet on it. Not in the near future, at least.

      I don't think anybody wants a flood of apps that haven't been tested for mobile, it's just a bad practice. Developers might also get angry because it would lead to bad ratings and requests for support that they might not be interested in dealing with. There might be other reasons, but those are just a couple of practical concerns.

      It might make more sense way down the road, but I think it would be a lot of trouble if it happened too early.

      • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

        How about Extensions then? Does this bring them one step closer to Android?

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

          This doesn't really play into chrome extensions. Those aren't really converted into native apps and they don't run independent of the browser. It's on Chrome for Android to add that functionality.

          • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

            Then I'm confused how does this benefit Android and iOS...

          • darkdude1

            Just the ability to write a website, android and iOS app all using the same language potentially reusing code and not having to learn 3 different languages sounds like a pretty decent offering.

    • http://danielbrierton.ie Daniel Brierton

      I'd imagine the more likely thing to happen is for Chrome apps to move to the Play Store, since its a much more recognised brand.

      • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

        Ah, so Google would distribute them a-la DashClock extensions?

  • anon

    Is this the key to Facebook getting it right on mobile?...

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

      Facebook already switched to a fully native app. It's probably good this didn't happen sooner, because that switch might never have happened otherwise.

      • anon

        great, but isn't it still a shadow of what a PC provides?

      • http://twitter.com/rluik Rafael Luik

        The Facebook app IS NOT fully native. Pages are presented as a mobile version of webpage for example. I'm sure of that because I experienced a bug that opened the Facebook desktop site inside the Facebook app.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

          It went native a year ago. Perhaps there are a couple of edge cases where it might still use a WebView, but I haven't heard of any.

          http://www.androidpolice.com/2012/12/13/facebooks-big-2-0-update-is-coming-today-ditching-the-slow-html5-rendering-for-native-code/

          • Imparus

            Problem is they did a very poor "native" app, since they just ported their website to native code, instead of actually coding the app. That caused a lot of problems and to fix all the bugs that it created they just made workarounds instead of actually fixing them :-/

          • http://twitter.com/rluik Rafael Luik

            So you know it's not fully native, it's a mix between native and web-based.

            The home news feed seems to be native, the photo viewer too, but the fan pages and friends profiles not.

  • niknetniko

    Great! More webapps in the Play Store! Just what we needed! Two kind of apps in the Play Store! I can't wait!

    • schala

      Don't worry, web apps will always slower than native apps, just like phonegap.

      • http://www.modminecraft.com/ Nick Coad

        Why is that a reason NOT to worry?

  • Matt

    I'll get excited when we finally get extensions for Chrome mobile, I rely on them so damn much on the PC that using Chrome mobile can be physically painful at times.

    • adblock plz

      I really want adblock for Chrome. I'd like to support sites by not blocking ads, but some sites have these intrusive popups telling me my app store needs an update etc. I press cancel but I still get redirected to some shady site. It's very frustrating.

      I know there's a dedicated adblock app but when I activate it the popup-infested websites won't load at all.

      • Justin Swanson

        I use AdFree and rarely have problems.

  • http://twitter.com/rluik Rafael Luik

    Chrome apps ARE NOT "web standards"! They use Chrome-specific non-standardized code that doesn't run in other browsers!

    • Walkop

      Chrome is a web standard on its own, being the most widely used browser. You target Chrome (or Blink, rather) when you build a webpage.

      Blink is a fairly popular engine, considering Opera also uses it (even though it by no means a majority player).

      • duse

        1) IE is still more widely used.

        2) What you describe is exactly what IE6 used to be. We don't ever want that again.

        • Walkop

          IE is not more widely used. Chrome is by a large margin in most statistics I've seen. See here: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usage_share_of_web_browser

          Point two: this is a different beast. You don't see Microsoft pushing for natively running apps using web code like this with native APIs, do you? They abandoned Silverlight. It's not like Google has competition in this regard, and it is fairly popular. Google is and can be pushing this because it is theirs and it is unique.

          • http://twitter.com/rluik Rafael Luik

            Google is and can be pushing this because it is theirs and it is unique.

            LOL you keep talking BS.

            It's the complete opposite, they can't push this because they should be committed to the TRUE OPEN WEB STANDARDS, instead they're pushing development APIs and languages that create an OS/browser-lock-in scheme when the web should be platform and browser-agnostic.

          • Walkop

            You missed my point.

            No-one else is doing this. The 'open' standards aren't flexible enough. I'd be all for Google open-sourcing the NaCl code, but that doesn't make sense from a strategic standpoint.

            Besides, this isn't OS lock-in. Chrome is available basically everywhere. If you want to run Chrome apps, have Chrome. Doesn't mean you even need to use it as your browser.

          • http://twitter.com/rluik Rafael Luik

            That's not how things work. Chrome is not available for Windows Phone just to give you a quick example. It's not available for many other platforms.
            I shouldn't be forced to agree to Google/Chrome TOS to use web apps. I shouldn't be forced to install other browser, the web should not be exclusive to one browser.

            NaCl is already open source. It doesn't mean other browsers should be forced to implement it.

          • Walkop

            Look at the article, though. These apps are written in regular web languages. And the back-end to access the hardware is open-source.

            I quote:
            "The platform behind this project is Apache Cordova, an open-source framework that enables web apps to be compiled much like native applications, allowing them access to native operating system functions and hardware sensors like the camera and accelerometer."

            Now that I look at it, this project is totally isolated from Chrome. You don't even need it to use these apps. Its simply a packaging system to run these apps natively on mobile devices (without a browser or internet connection) in addition to desktops where they are already present.

          • http://twitter.com/rluik Rafael Luik

            This is just the beginning, sadly they'll bring NaCl to Chrome mobile. Just check Chromium's bug tracking system.

          • Walkop

            Seriously? You're just totally trolling now. You're trying to stop a great product. NaCl is totally unique in the market. Its a fantastic idea, and developers use it because it is so. If other browser makers want to ignore that, then so be it!

            Don't blame Google for something you simply don't like (for some strange reason that I can't seem to (logically) fathom).

          • http://twitter.com/rluik Rafael Luik

            I give up on you, you can't understand the basics of the open web standards.

          • Walkop

            Or maybe you just don't understand the basics of Chrome NaCl apps. It allows you to package applications written in languages like Objective-C and C# and run them INSIDE of Chrome, instead of coding an app for Windows, Mac, or Linux alone.

            For one, this isn't even remotely close to being simply about web standards. This allows you to run code normally designed for a single platform to run agnostically of its parent OS. It also happens to be open-source, as you mentioned, and is integrated into Chrome. That most certainly qualifies as an open standard to me! Just because no-one else is using it (yet) doesn't mean anything.

            This also isn't remotely close to IE6, as it doesn't break webpages anywhere—Chrome apps are totally closed and for most people are only available on the Chrome Web Store. If developers like creating these apps, they perform well, people like them, and they don't negatively affect any other creators, then what's the point of arguing against it?

            I have friends on Mac computers who wouldn't be even able to remotely try connecting with me for certain apps that are available on Windows but not available on Mac without NaCl. Its a very effective platform-AGNOSTIC bridge.

          • http://twitter.com/rluik Rafael Luik

            Nope you don't understand what an open web standard is and the process it must follow to be standardized (most browser vendors must agree they want to implement it, discuss how, collaborate the spec, etc), simply being open source has nothing to do with becoming a web standard.

            It's not platform-agnostic, it only runs where Chrome can run. It's not browser-agnostic, it only runs in Chrome.

            NaCl is as platform-agnostic as Java, but none of them are web standards.

            It doesn't break webpages but it creates web app exclusivity or features exclusivity for Chrome (because of these proprietary Chrome-only APIs / NaCl, etc) when web apps were supposed to run in any browser.

          • Walkop

            The fact is, I don't care (and the average consumer wouldn't either) if NaCl is a web standard or not.

            We can all agree, for example, that Flash was a hog and bloated mess. But it filled a role in its time. Would you have preferred we never had flash and instead tried to force these things to work with the limited standards we had? HTML5 still has a hard time matching what Flash could do, even though it's more efficient, and NaCl goes miles beyond that.

            NaCl on its own is a fantastic idea and a great system. I'd MUCH rather see everyone adopt it than Google drop it! It is an innovative and unique category.

            Besides the point, NaCl doesn't attract regular web developers. Hence it doesn't really encourage web-app exclusivity—the apps wouldn't even BE THERE in the first place without Google! It allows traditional coders to apply their skills to create native applications to a wev-based environment while giving them the flexibility that they're used to. Meaning it doesn't really fragment the web environment.

            As for being platform agnostic, you are correct. But Chrome runs on every major platform, and NaCl runs on every major non-mobile platform.

            Google may be the only one pushing this right now, but if anyone at all knows the web: its Google. Things like NaCl are the future. Its ahead of the curve, since no-one else has developed anything else like it for the mainstream. And it is open for anyone to use, anywhere. Once they see the merits, it will be.

          • http://twitter.com/rluik Rafael Luik

            You still don't understand... Gosh, it's not about the web working in "major platforms", web standards were created so the web could work in *any platform* in existence or not (future platforms)... You ignore when I say users shouldn't be forced to agree to Chrome's TOS to use web apps. There's plenty of apps in Chrome Web Store that could be made with web standards but they aren't available for other browsers. You're simply pretending the issue is not real.

            Mozilla and Opera Software were creating the web standards long before Google even thought of making a web browser, don't pull that "if anyone at all knows the web: its Google". Google is the one going the complete opposite of the open web platform with Chrome apps. The web = HTML, CSS, JS NOT Nacl!

          • Marc Edwards

            You don't have to use chrome to use Web apps. You have to use chrome to use chrome Web apps.

            They do follow Web standards, they also offer the option of offline apps. Many other browsers offer extensions, how is this so different?

          • http://twitter.com/rluik Rafael Luik

            You don't have to use chrome to use Web apps. You have to use chrome to use chrome Web apps.

            EXACTLY. And I can tell you there are plenty of devs that make these Chrome Web Store apps exclusively for Chrome and deliver no web app correspondent to other browsers.

            They do follow Web standards

            And obviously add their things to it too. Just like IE6.

            Many other browsers offer extensions, how is this so different?

            There are differences. Extensions mostly add features to a browser, extending its functionality, not website-like web apps. Web apps are webpages on themselves.

            This is not to say we shouldn't try to standardize extensions too as some of them also cause browser-lock-in.
            -> http://my.opera.com/ODIN/blog/2013/07/30/introducing-nex

          • Marc Edwards

            How many other browsers support native apps? And I mean apps here, not extensions. If none others do you can't really complain about the lack of openness when chrome is open source and multi platform.

            How many apps are there that do not have their functionality reproduced somewhere else? I don't know of any, but I don't use masses of apps. I also know of apps that provide offline features. This is different from a website.

            What non-standardized things do they add? All I really know is that chrome got a good reputation for following Web standards. What extras have Google added that is likely to break compatibility with say Firefox? IE cannot be used as an example here because it is not necessarily compatible with the Web.

            I get the feeling you're trying to troll in a rather boring way.

          • http://twitter.com/rluik Rafael Luik

            You're misinformed.

          • Marc Edwards

            i did ask you to inform me... with, you know, links or something...

          • Marc Edwards

            The Web should not be platform and browser agnostic. Do you know what a smart phone is?

          • http://twitter.com/rluik Rafael Luik

            Are you an idiot? The web is supposed to be platform-agnostic. A smartphone is a platform that can run web browsers.

          • Walkop

            Then why do webpages have mobile sites for phones? Thats ridiculous, by your logic.

          • http://twitter.com/rluik Rafael Luik

            Huh? I don't get it. Mobile webpages run on any browser, Chrome apps don't.

          • Walkop

            Hmm...that was vague. You got a point. Here's what I meant: the guy above makes no sense, except when he said that the web should not be platform agnostic.

            Technically speaking, it isn't. Smart phones and tablets are treated and targeted very differently from traditional computers.

          • http://twitter.com/rluik Rafael Luik

            One of the major points of the web standards is being platform-agnostic. x.x

            It's obvious that you can't display tiny buttons and text and a page designed for desktops with more than 1280x1024 resolution to fit in a small mobile display and expect that would be a good experience. But how's that related?? Mobile web pages or responsive web pages are accessible via any browser.

          • Walkop

            Okay, you definitely have me there, haha. Often times many options are hidden on these mobile pages, however, which does in fact fragment the experience across devices. CNET is one terrible example; you can't even read comments on the mobile page, and requesting a desktop site once it's loaded does not work. You have to dig through their in-page settings menu to do so.

            Obviously, though, that is bad design and not a fault of anyone but CNET.

          • Marc Edwards

            my point was mobile sites. platform agnostic means it does not need to know what platform it is running on. mobile sites need to know that a phone is involved. idiot.

          • http://twitter.com/rluik Rafael Luik

            But in no way this causes part of the web to be only accessible with browser(s) X like Chrome apps do.

          • http://twitter.com/rluik Rafael Luik

            Don't confuse content / access with layout.

          • duse

            This is from Sept. 2013:

            http://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/combined-2013-09-640x480.png

            Worldwide combined browser market share:
            IE: 50.43%
            Chrome: 14.60%

            Doesn't look like Chrome is even close to overtaking IE.

          • Walkop

            Somehow I have a hard time believing this, considering 4 out of 5 studies referenced in the article I quoted state otherwise, and your article states that SAFARI basically matches Chrome.

            That's seriously stretching it.

          • duse

            That's for *combined*, meaning both desktop and mobile. On mobile, Safari has much greater market share than Chrome, so it makes sense.

            http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2013/10/internet-explorer-6-usage-drops-below-5-percent-in-september/

            http://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/mobile-2013-09.png

        • Marc Edwards

          Chrome overtook IE in 2011. It overtook Firefox, the then most popular browser, in 2012.

          Also chrome Web apps are separate from webpages. And chrome confirms to html standards, older versions of IE didn't, but more recent versions have responded to pressure and improved.

          There's a bit of a joke along the lines of to test if a page is html5 try it in IE. If it doesn't work, it is.

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

            There's no doubt Chrome overtook IE, I don't think any credible source disputes that. However, I don't believe I've ever seen a statistic where FF was beating IE without splitting IE into each distinct version. Do you have a link to a source? I'm just curious if somebody came to this conclusion through some other means.

          • Marc Edwards

            i originally googled browser statistics and went with the first link
            http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_stats.asp

            but having had a bit of a poke at other sites the conclusion is the stats vary wildly, chrome is in the lead. any other conclusions are suspect.
            also wikipedia statistics are suspect seing as how the w3 website linked shows different stats from those quoted on qikipedia of those stats.

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

            Ahh, that explains it. The stats are collected just from the W3C logs. All of the "normals" (grandma and grandpa) don't visit the w3c with their old computers, so they're never counted towards the numbers. But I never would have guessed the IE numbers would be that low on there. :)

          • duse

            I was using this source, which I consider credible:
            http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2013/10/internet-explorer-6-usage-drops-below-5-percent-in-september/

            Net Market Share, Sept. 2013

            W3C logs are definitely not an accurate worldwide depiction, if that's really the source being used by those saying Chrome is on top.

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

            ARS links to http://netmarketshare.com/, which as far as I can tell, doesn't give any explanation for where these numbers come from or how they were collected. There are several other sites that report Chrome having overtaken IE quite some time ago, and most of them explain their collection practices.

            I'm inclined to believe it when the majority of credible companies have come to the same conclusion and explain how they got there. But, I honestly don't care enough to debate it. :)

          • duse

            Me either really, but if NetMarketShare's numbers are questionable, I do wonder why Ars has always used it. Their reporting is usually pretty fact-based.

          • http://twitter.com/rluik Rafael Luik

            Also chrome Web apps are separate from webpages.

            This changes nothing. Actually this part of the point, if they were webpages perhaps people using other browsers could at least attempt to access them.

            And chrome confirms to html standards, older versions of IE didn't

            Again this changes nothing. A dev is going to publish an app exclusively for the Chrome browser and it won't run in other browsers = web standards violated.

          • Scala

            That make sense.
            - It wont run in other browser, so it's not web standard.
            - But it can run on desktop, so I don't mind. :)
            - But it cannot run on windows phone because it neither run on WP browser (IE) nor as WP apps. WP user will probably grudging.

            Is that sum it up ?

          • http://twitter.com/rluik Rafael Luik

            Yes but you can replace WP with:
            Win RT, BB OS, Jolla, Tizen, smart TVs, Firefox OS, etc, plus every new platform that appears and less well-known desktop OSs.

          • Marc Edwards

            As opposed to what, exactly? Apps? After all they're platform agnostic, aren't they.

          • http://twitter.com/rluik Rafael Luik

            As opposed to web pages, they're platform-agnostic.

          • Marc Edwards

            Unless we consider mobile.

          • http://twitter.com/rluik Rafael Luik

            Nope. Web pages are easily accessible via mobile devices.

          • duse

            Am I misreading this somehow then? http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2013/10/internet-explorer-6-usage-drops-below-5-percent-in-september/

            According to Ars and Net Market Share, IE is still the majority browser out there.

          • Marc Edwards

            To quote one of the comments on that link,
            "...and for comparison, the browser stats from StatCounter:
            Chrome: 40%
            IE: 29%
            Firefox: 18%
            Safari: 9%"
            While the article does not quote any source that I could see, whatever the source is disagrees with a number of other Web analytics. Wikipedia has collected several nicely
            http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usage_share_of_web_browsers

      • http://twitter.com/rluik Rafael Luik

        No. Chrome is not a web standard.
        Wikipedia for you: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_standards

        • Walkop

          I was speaking generally. The first browser you should target should be Chrome if you want to reach the most people, because it is the most popular.

          Sorry if that was unclear or vague.

          I'm not saying to ignore other browsers, either! I'm saying target Chrome first; compatibility is just as important.

          • http://twitter.com/rluik Rafael Luik

            Replace Chrome with IE in what you said (you know it was the most popular not long ago) and reflect on what you're saying.

            Don't target any browsers for "compatibility", it commonly breaks the webpages in other browsers. Code following the web standards and the page should work in all browsers, if the page doesn't work the fault is of the browser vendor that doesn't implement them correctly.

          • Walkop

            I stated compatibility is just as important in the sense that compatibility with all browsers is just as important as targeting Chrome first. I'm just saying making sure Chrome works best is the first step based on current market demand. Along the way you also need to make sure you don't break compatibility.

          • Marc Edwards

            What has chrome/Google not implemented correctly?

        • Walkop

          I understand that. You don't seem to understand my point, however:

          Who else is creating apps with the power and flexibility that Chrome Web Apps have online?

          There's no open standard for this kind of thing. HTML5 on its own isn't flexible enough.

          • http://twitter.com/rluik Rafael Luik

            "The web standards are not flexible enough, instead of improving HTML5 let's create IE6 with our own APIs and ActiveX." ;)

  • joser116

    I feel kind of :/ about this. This just means more fragmentation and poorly optimized apps. And less apps that follow the Android guidelines.

    • Telefunken

      You said "less" but you meant "fewer". If you think about it, your comment was a metaphor for the sort of apps that will be produced by this new system; not perfect, but at least you got something out there, and you can make sure your next one is a little better.

      • joser116

        Thanks for the suggestion but are you sure I can't use less because it sounds perfectly good to me.

        • Telefunken

          Apps are an integer, so you have fewer apps. You have less milk (not fewer milk) once you've used some because milk is a liquid. If you're talking about cartons of milk you have fewer, because they are, again, integers.

          • joser116

            Wow! Thank you!

    • http://mwinter.in/ Yan Gabriel Minário

      Like every web developer is a lazy pig. Bad comment.

      • joser116

        Nope, you just took my comment too far and out of context. That is not what I meant and I did not mean to say that in any way.

        • http://mwinter.in/ Yan Gabriel Minário

          Ok, but you do know that it is perfectly possible to follow each OS design guidelines, right? It is not as easy as switching a CSS file, but it still possible.

          • joser116

            Yes, I do know that, but that's besides the point. Since this will allow developers to develop one app and have it run on multiple platforms, this will just help lazy developers be lazy, therefore more apps that are poorly optimized and inefficient. That's it. Nothing more than that.

          • http://mwinter.in/ Yan Gabriel Minário

            I don't believe it. Phonegap has been around for ages and I do not think Google's fork of Cordova is gonna make bad apps number grow. It will just help HTML apps to be faster, since they will be rendered using Chrome.

          • joser116

            Yes I do agree with you but this will increase the number of inefficient/unoptimized apps in the Android ecosystem. Of course apps developed using this framework will be less efficient than if the app was developed specifically for Android.

          • http://mwinter.in/ Yan Gabriel Minário
          • joser116

            It is not that apps made using this will be bad, I did not say that. It is just that there will be MORE apps that won't be fully optimized as if they were developed using the native Android tools. Of course an app made using native Android tools will be more likely to take full advantage of everything the operating system has to offer. I never said there won't be good or even excellent apps.

          • http://mwinter.in/ Yan Gabriel Minário

            And I'm just saying that there will be not a bump in bad apps because lazy developers have had a solution that works very well for ages.

          • joser116

            But there will be yet another solution ;)

  • markpit

    So what's the difference between this and plain old Cordova?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

      If I understand it correctly, it's just that this has some platform-specific extensions and probably some optimizations.

    • totem

      Yeah I also wondering what make this different with other cordova-based web app, like phonegap etc.

  • duse

    How do you write an article like this without mentioning Palm. They had this idea nailed down (along with Sencha and others, this isn't really new at all). But it's been discarded time and again because it always sucks. Most of Palm's influence on Android has been extremely positive and shows how forward thinking they were (actionable notifications, multitasking card UI, quick settings), but this is one thing I don't want to see be adopted. I'm sure Google does have a long term play in mind to completely replace the native Android stack and SDK with Chrome apps. Not really something I want.

    • Walkop

      Why would they do that?

      Besides the point: web apps are getting better and better. Especially being able to run natively and with hardware APIs. It would be great to have the flexibility to do this.

  • heror

    Adblock yuppie XD

  • ConCal

    is this part of the eventual convergence of Chrome and Android? probably not, but one can imagine.

  • Vinay N S

    so does this mean my apps script web apps can now be converted into a native android app???

  • f

    Chrome sucks.

  • Guest

    Anyone know of a Lego builder app for android and/or for Mac and/or PC that does this?

  • didibus

    I'm kind of confused where Google is going with all of this. I was very excited for Chrome Packaged Apps on the desktop, then I realised they don't in any way differentiate them from web apps, so it became impossible to find the Chrome Packaged Apps (the only ones that are not just bookmarks, but actual useful apps with a native feel). I was looking forward to replacing a lot of my apps with Chrome Packaged Apps, so I would have familiar apps on OSX, Linux and Windows, always accessible from all my computers, and synced. This didn't happen.

    Now, they are releasing the Mobile version of Chrome Packaged Apps, but if it's based on Apache Cordova, they'll probably won't work on the Desktop. So now, you've got Chrome Mobile Packaged Apps, and Chrome Packaged Apps, and they are all accessible from different stores, and none of them are properly categorised as such a type of apps, so very hard to find.

    I don't know if I am liking this. I love the concept of using Chrome as a HTML5/Javascript Virtual Machine, the same way the JVM is to Java, chrome can be to HTML5/Javascript. It just seems that Google isn't really advertising it, or making it simple and clear.

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