Google tweaking Chrome API for HTML5 apps to run cross-platform

February 5, 2014
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As Google pushes the boundary on Chrome apps, another interesting tweak may be in the work. From a Chromium Code Review listing, it looks like Google is trying to take the Chrome out of apps — in a good way, though. By minimizing the API needs of web apps, Developers may be able to build truly cross-platform web apps.


From the Code Review, we find mention of “app shell README”. The project’s readme file notes “app_shell is an experimental project to build a minimal environment like content_shell. The goal is to be able to run a v2 app and supply most of the chrome.* extension APIs without running the rest of Chrome.” It goes on to note that this is currently only a Chrome OS project, but that’s likely to change should it see the real world — much like we find Chrome apps for Windows and Mac.

By all accounts, Google wants to take the minimum requirements for Chrome and create an environment for web apps to operate like packaged ones. Packaged apps, which work in Chrome OS but outside of a browser, access different APIs than traditional web apps. By offering those up in a slimmed down form, HTML5 apps may be getting a true home away from home — on Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, and anywhere else they like.

This is interesting news, to which Google declined comment to The Next Web. It looks like Google is widening their scope for Chrome apps, and wants to bring them outside of Chrome in a broad way. For Developers, this is a handy one-step process for creating great apps that operate across platforms. It doesn’t solve every issue with making apps that work great everywhere, but it’s a big leap n the right direction.


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