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Next-generation Chrome Packaged Apps Blur the Line Between Browser and OS

By Michael Low & Leo Boon Yeow - on 12 Jul 2013, 10:28am

Next-generation Chrome Packaged Apps Blur the Line Between Browser and OS

Google has recently announced the availability of next-generation Chrome packaged apps in the Chrome Web Store. These apps are essentially offline apps (by default) that have all the resources they need to run offline, but have received enhancements that give them much more system resources to work with.

This allows the apps to act more like native applications, rather than applications which are tied to the browser. The difference between Chrome packaged apps and native operating system apps is that they're built using web technologies like HTML, CSS and Javascript, and are running on top of Chrome.

Some of the exciting things that the next-generation Chrome packaged apps can do:

  1. Run in a standalone (top level) window, and can be launched outside of your browser instead of a tab within Chrome
  2. Offline by default, and are resilient (still allows you to continue using it) under poor network conditions
  3. Has browser tag that securely allows for hosted web content within the application
  4. Has control over look and feel of the Window frame it appears in, and responds to system events
  5. Able to use system services and devices like TCPIP, USB or Bluetooth
  6. Interoperate with other apps in the system, allowing users to share data like photos and music
  7. Safely integrate with popular web services, even when user is offline

The bottom-line here is, that Chrome packaged apps are getting more powerful (and useful), which clearly indicates Google's ambition with the Chrome browser and Chrome OS. Soon you'll be able to use fast and efficient web applications using any operating system, essentially blurring the lines between your browser and your operating system.

If you're interested in trying these apps out for yourself, you'd have to switch to the Chrome developer channel for Windows, or Chrome OS. It's unclear when these powerful apps will be available to the general public, but we'll keep you updated when we find out. 

Source: Chromium Blog