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Upcoming Google toolkit will help developers create Chrome apps that also run on Android (and iOS)

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It looks like Google is preparing to release a toolkit that will soon allow developers create Chrome apps that, not only run on the desktop, but Android (and iOS) devices as well. The boys at The Next Web made the discovery after stumbling upon Mobile Chrome Apps repository on Github, revealing Google’s upcoming plan to effectively extend beyond the browser.

Google declined to comment on their upcoming plans, saying that while they’re not ready to make anything official just yet, developers are more than free to use their tools that were uncovered. Using the new toolkit, developers can modify, tweak, and test their apps for smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices. Once everything is running properly, these hybrid apps can immediately be published to the Google Play Store where you’ll be able to download and install them like any other app.

It looks like, for the time being, only Android 4.o+ devices will be supported, with an expected release as early as January of next year. We’ll keep our eyes peeled in the meantime developers can hit up the source link for more info on getting started with Chrome apps for mobile.

[via TNW]




  • Gideon Waxfarb

    These are apps that require Chrome to run, correct? So basically, it’s like Flash all over again. I hope this does not catch on.

    • mcl630

      No, it’s not like Flash all over again… these are HTML5/JS/CSS apps.

      • Brett_Freeman

        I was just getting ready to reply the same…you’re absolutely correct, these are *nothing* like Flash apps. A better analogy is Phonegap, where you can take HTML5/JS/CSS and run an ‘app’ by spinning up a UIWebView locally on the phone. It’ll be interesting to see if they’ve built their own, new platform, or have forked something like Cordova, the opensource version of Phonegap.

      • Dylan

        Unless you’re building your app using chrome specific non-standard capabilities…in which case your app will probably work with chrome on most platforms (is the mobile version fully compatible with the desktop one yet?). You might not be so lucky with other browsers.

        • mcl630

          It wasn’t clear from the linked article whether this toolkit uses anything Chrome specific, but it did say support for creating iOS apps was coming soon, which would seem to indicate these apps would at least work in Safari as well as Chrome.

  • Hrethgir

    I’d rather they open up Chromecast to everyone than Chrome extensions and stuff.

  • Splaktar

    This is great news!

  • robjackson81

    This is a pretty crazy development and could signal the beginning of HTML5 creeping into and eventually taking over Android territory, as Eric Schmidt suggested in might back in 2009 or so… kind of scary and difficult to think about.

    Android and Chrome have existed as two separate but overlapping entities for awhile now. The lines will continue to be blurred. But what will they blur into?

    I wish I knew.

  • Dylan

    I wonder if this is just an extension to the changes made for WebView in KitKat.

  • Matt Tanksley

    This is part of their new “Mobile Also” credo, which replaces their former “Mobile First” one.

  • Len Waugh

    Does this mean you can make chrome apps and android apps with the tool kit… or chrome apps for android. (ie. Apps that are indistiguisable from dalvik/java made apps.) I am hoping these apps can be packaged, put on play and run from the regular launcher.