Chrome Apps for Mobile upgraded to feel more like native apps

chrome apps for mobile

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In January, Google introduced the Chrome Apps for Mobile project that allows developers to port Chrome packaged apps for the desktop to Android and iOS. Mozilla has a similar project for apps built for Firefox OS.

We haven't heard much about the project since January, but recently Google announced a new set of features coming to Chrome Apps for Mobile. The new additions should allow Chrome apps to behave more like mobile apps, including one-tap sign-ins and rich notifications.


Google's Chrome app Topeka running on Android 4.4.2, KitKat.

Google also added a capability that allows developers to bring the latest Chromium WebView to devices running Android versions as old as Ice Cream Sandwich. The updated WebView should bring new capabilities and better performance to apps running on older devices.

To show off how Chrome apps can perform, Google released its Chrome app, Topeka, for mobile. Google says the quiz app has smoother performance on older devices thanks to the latest version of Chromium WebView.

It's still early days for Chrome Apps for Mobile, but the project is yet another example of how the lines are starting to blur between Google's two major platforms. Only recently, Google started allowing Chromebooks to run Android apps, and now Chrome apps are better equipped to invade the Android platform.

But what exactly is Google's endgame here? Are we seeing the convergence of Chrome OS and Android, which Google co-founder Sergey Brin said might happen way back in 2009? If so, the dominance of Chrome apps for mobile in Google Play is a long way away.

What is clear is that Google is very interested in putting more Chrome in your life whether it's on your PC, smartphone, or tablet. Only recently, Google added a Chrome packaged apps section to Google Play for Education, a special version of Google Play for educational institutions.

It all makes you wonder if the Chrome Web Store is also slated to merge with Google Play in the near-ish future.

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