Google Bringing Chrome Apps to iOS and Android

Tuesday January 28, 2014 10:14 AM PST by Juli Clover
Google today launched Chrome apps for iOS and Android, which will see Chrome-based apps encased in a native application shell that allows them to be distributed through the Apple App Store and Google Play. Currently, Chrome-packaged apps are written in JavaScript, HTML, and CSS, but are able to launch outside the browser, access APIs and work offline.

Developers can access an early developer preview of a toolchain based on Apache Cordova, an open source platform for building native mobile applications with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Using the toolchain, developers can wrap existing Chrome Apps with a native shell, which transforms them into apps that can be sold on the App Store.

chromeformobile
Example of a Chrome To-Do app running on OS X and Android
We provide a simple developer workflow for packaging a Chrome App natively for mobile platforms. You can run your Chrome App on a device or emulator using the command-line or an IDE. Alternatively, you can use the Chrome Apps Developer Tool to run your app on an Android device without the need to install an IDE or the mobile platform’s SDK.
Google has made multiple core Chrome APIs available to Chrome apps that are designed to run on mobile devices, including automatic sign-in via OAuth2, push messaging, storage, alarms, file system syncing able to store and retrieve files backed by Google Drive, and more.

In addition to the Chrome APIs, developers are also able to access APIs supported by the Cordova platform.

Chrome mobile apps come following the September launch of Chrome apps that work offline by default and function as native applications. In December, Google brought Chrome apps to the Mac, following a beta testing period that began in May. Chrome apps on the Mac are designed to function like native Mac apps, working offline, updating automatically, and syncing on any computer where a user is signed into Chrome.

Developers have the opportunity to begin working with Apache Cordova and their Chrome apps beginning today, but it may be some time before consumers see Chrome apps in the App Store.

Top Rated Comments

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Posted: 11 months ago
I thought web apps were officially dead.

People expect great performance from their apps, and so far it seems web apps can't offer that. Just look how crappy the old Facebook app was (before it went native), or how slow the App Store app still is.

Maybe Google will be able to do it better, but I'm highly skeptical. Using native APIs and a native, lower-level, compiled language will always be faster no matter what.

Yes, it means developers have to re-code a lot of stuff when developing for different platforms. But the mobile app industry is so big and potentially lucrative that developers shouldn't cut corners.
Rating: 6 Votes
Posted: 11 months ago

No thanks, native apps are better.


No thanks, Apps that don't snoop on me are better
Rating: 3 Votes
Posted: 11 months ago
This is great news! A To-Do list app will be a great addition to iOS! It's surprising that nobody has written one already.
Rating: 2 Votes
Posted: 11 months ago
No thanks, native apps are better.
Rating: 1 Votes
Posted: 11 months ago
Haven't we already established that native apps are the way to go...?

Yes, I'm looking at you, Facebook. At least they got their act together in the end.
Rating: 1 Votes
Posted: 11 months ago

"Currently, Chrome-packaged apps are written in JavaScript, HTML, and CSS"

Ew, that's lame. Is "Chrome" just supposed to mean "inefficiently programmed"?


Describe to me how those are inherently inefficient.
Rating: 1 Votes
Posted: 11 months ago

Reminders?!?!? It has a checklist and due date option


I believe you missed the sarcasm. It's okay, not all humour is as good as British humour (yes, with a 'u') :p
Rating: 1 Votes
Posted: 11 months ago
I'll stay as far away from this as possible.
Rating: 1 Votes

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