Google browser as a platform

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Google today launched Chrome apps for Android and iOS. The company is offering an early developer preview of a toolchain based on Apache Cordova, an open-source mobile development framework for building native mobile apps using HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Developers can use the tool to wrap their Chrome app with a native application shell that enables them to distribute it via Google Play and Apple’s App Store.

Today’s announcement builds on the company’s launch of Chrome apps in September that work offline by default and act like native applications on the host operating system. Those Chrome apps work on Windows, Mac, and Chrome OS, but now the company wants to bring them to the mobile world.

Last month, we broke the news that the company was working on bringing Chrome packaged apps from the desktop to the mobile world. At the time, Google developer advocate Joe Marini said the beta toolkit for porting and building such apps would be ready in January. In the last week of the month, Google has delivered as promised.

~ – The Next Web


This is really interesting, the fact that you can wrap HTML/CSS/JavaScript with a native application shell is nothing new. However, making Chrome the platform and why not, an operating system in itself so you can run these apps even when you are offline is interesting and very attractive to developers to say the least. Back in 2008 Mozilla was developing Ubiquity which never really got released but the idea was there – a browser as an operating system. There was/is also Webian which since long ago, has been trying to accomplish this.