Google has been hard at work on a not-very-secret project which would allow developers of Chrome apps (you know, the ones for Chrome OS and in the Chrome browser on other platforms) to readily bring their apps across to mobile platforms like Android and iOS.
This new developer tool, based on Apache Cordova, allows developers to do just this. Google has released the new toolset today, albeit in the form of an early developer preview, which means that developers can get started to bring their apps across and submit them to either the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store.
At the moment, Google has made made many of the core Chrome APIs available to Chrome Apps running natively on mobile, including:
- identity - sign-in users using OAuth2 without prompting for passwords
- payments (currently Android only) – sell virtual goods within your mobile app
- pushMessaging - push messages to your app from your server
- sockets - send and receive data over the network using TCP and UDP
- notifications (currently Android only) – send rich notifications from your mobile app
- storage - store and retrieve key-value data locally
- syncFileSystem - store and retrieve files backed by Google Drive
- alarms - run tasks periodically
Hopefully this will have a dual effect of bringing some cool apps across to Android from Chrome, but also bringing an influx of development to the Chrome platform as well. Let’s see how that goes.