Chrome web apps now support Android and iOS

BY Stefan Constantinescu

Published 29 Jan 2014

The bodies of platforms and frameworks are littered across the battlefield of the technology industry. Once upon a time, you couldn’t use the internet without Adobe Flash. Just a handful of years ago, you needed a Windows PC in order to get “real” work done. Today’s signature platform war, Android versus iOS, is pretty much over. Those who can afford to spend $700 an iPhone buy an iPhone, and those who can’t buy an Android device. Windows Phone, BlackBerry, Firefox OS, they don’t count.

Now say you’re a developer. You only have so many hours in the day. Do you want to make an application using Apple’s SDK and then re-create the same application in Google’s Android SDK? Not really, so you look for an intermediary framework that runs on both platforms. If you look at the PC space, there were multiple frameworks that tried and failed to get off the ground. Java, Silverlight, and Air are the few that spring to mind.

Google, in their wisdom, wants people to create awesome web apps. Today, they’re going to enable developers to write their web apps using Chrome APIs and then use what’s called a “wrapper” to make them appear as native Android apps or iOS apps that can be submitted to both the Play Store and Apple App Store like any other app.

Will big name apps switch to Google’s Chrome APIs? No, but small players will not be able to create a “good enough” experience using plain old HTML and JavaScript that can run on the world’s two most important operating systems.

And that has to count for something.