Google Brings Chrome Apps To Android And iOS

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Google’s offline Chrome Apps are about to find their way to both Android and iOS. Using Apache’s well-known open-source Cordova platform for turning web apps into native apps, Google today launched a developer preview of a toolchain for building native apps using HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

Using these tools, developers can take their existing Chrome Apps, wrap them into a native shell and submit them to Google Play and Apple’s App Store.

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Google is making a wide variety of Chrome APIs available for these apps, including ways to authenticate users using OAuth2, push messaging, storage and alarms. On Android, the toolchain also supports payments and rich notifications. In addition, developers also get access to the full range of APIs available through Cordova itself, which includes a wide range of services for every popular mobile platform.

For web developers, Google says, this new toolchain will give them an easy workflow “for extending the reach of Chrome Apps to users on mobile platforms.”

To get started, developers on all platforms need to install Node.js version 0.10.0 or higher, as well as a number of required development tools, depending on which platform they are developing on and for.

All of the Chrome Apps have been available on the desktop for quite a while now (with the Mac coming online last December). As far as I am aware, there haven’t been any breakthrough Chrome Apps yet that have taken the desktop by storm, though. Today’s launch may just motivate more developers to write Chrome Apps, however, given that they know they will be able to easily port them over to mobile as well.