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Google enables silent running of Chrome web apps

Applications lurk in the shadows
Thu Feb 24 2011, 15:38

SOFTWARE DEVELOPER Google has introduced the ability for Chrome Web apps to run in the background.

Applications downloaded from the Google's Chrome Web Store will be able to run in the background even when the main Chrome web browser window is closed. Background applications will only be stopped when the Chrome process is terminated.

Google says that the background applications will not be interactive, but background processes that can pre-load data. The idea is to speed up browsing by caching data before the user requires it or issue notifications.

At present Google has only made background execution available to applications and extensions. Learning from Microsoft's mistakes with Internet Explorer, Chrome does not allow websites to open background applications and Google requires developers to declare what background processes are executed in their applications.

The ability to run background applications in Chrome is already available in the Chrome Developers channel. Yesterday Google updated its Chrome beta with minor updates to GPU detection code, stability improvements and user interface tweaks.

Background applications take Chrome one step closer to becoming the default multi-purpose application on computers, turning the browser into a make-shift operating system. Users hope that as Google enables ever more functionality in Chrome it won't become bloated, slow and a security risk.

Google's addition of background applications in Chrome might motivate developers to code for its Chrome Web Store. µ



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