SELF SERVING operating system developer Google has made app building tools for its Chrome web browser available to software developers on Android and iOS.
Up until now, although Chrome has been available to mobile users, apps have been the exclusive domain of desktop machines, with offline app development introduced in September 2013.
The idea is not to make a full Chrome OS experience available on mobile devices, which would have a familiar whiff about it for anyone who has been frustrated by the much maligned dual interface of Windows 8. Rather, it will allow software developers to design one app for the Chrome web browser across all operating systems.
The beta toolkit is available now, based on Apache Kordova, which previously was Adobe Phonegap, and includes a "wrapper tool" that converts Chrome creations into apps ready for publication.
As part of the rollout, Android 4.4 Kitkat automatically defaults to Chrome for web apps, whereas previous editions rendered them in the stock web browser that Google has slowly deprecated.
Although this early version of the software development kit will not be without its faults, intrepid early adopters can begin development by going to the Chromium blog, which has a full list of the features available and links to a raft of support. µ