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Chrome apps could reach Android in early 2014

The lines between Chrome and Android are starting to blur
Wed Dec 04 2013, 15:50
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SOFTWARE DEVELOPER Google has revealed plans for what many regard as the "missing link" between its two ecosystems.

Despite having insisted up to now that it wanted to keep Chrome and Android as two different products, it has revealed that developers are working on porting Chrome apps into the Android edition of the popular web browser.

Source code for a runtime to allow Google Apps to run in a mobile environment are already available at Github, and speaking on Google Groups yesterday, developer Joe Marani said that it hopes to have something "in beta form in January".

The repercussions of this could be huge, particularly for the tablet market, as it might bring many more apps to Android users, some covering bases that Android apps haven't touched so far.

There will also be the inevitable chancers who package an existing Chrome app into an apk and call it an Android app, but therein actually is another benefit.

Up to now, programmers have been required to learn completely different languages for Chrome and Android.

With the advent of mobile apps for Chrome, a desktop programmer could write an app that they had in mind, and port it relatively quickly to become an Android app.

One of the features of the recently launched Android 4.4 Kitkat release was a migration tool for web apps, which hitherto used the stock web browser, to be able to use Chrome.

This, then, is the next logical step that could see a flock of new programmers who previously avoided mobile development bringing more ideas into the Android developer gene pool. µ

 

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