This week saw the launch of Chrome Web Store. Of course, it was Apple that first brought the concept of apps into the mainstream with software-like experiences on their range of mobile devices. Google is trying to do the same across Chrome browsers and their new operating system. They have started off, not with their mobile platform though, but with the desktop, an area which is a much harder nut to crack. This will soon move to mobile devices firstly in the form of new netbooks powering their new Chrome OS. Synchronisation within Chrome means all applications and local user application settings will transfer to all a user’s other devices creating a seamless experience from work to your home computer to your netbook on the go. Google has an exciting vision of the future (worth watching when you have a spare 1.5 hours).
Each web app is either free (and as found with several applications can be opened standalone on another browser anyway), paid for (using Google Marketplace), or pay per content within the app (E-commerce web apps for example). All currently installed apps show up in your default new tab (that is if you haven’t overridden the default in your settings). Each app can be opened in a new tab or a pinned tab. While a lot of apps are essentially just links that install bookmarks and have local storage capacity in Chrome, you could feasibly convert any website into a Chrome app with a relatively simple setup, the web store is designed for web apps which really want to harness the power that Chrome provides such as advanced HTML5 and CSS3. There are currently some really great HTML5 apps in the store such as Amazon Window Shop and The New York Times Chrome App.
So how about those users who still use older browsers? Well they will continue to get the standard ‘Web 2.0’ web experience, but there is now a significant push for developers to start to create unique web experiences for their users that do have the latest browsers and devices. After all there is no point in having this technology available and not using it. It only stints growth in the industry.
HTML5, CSS3 and company are here, here now, and we must use them. Or else, what’s the point?