Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 6th Sep 2013 15:22 UTC

The new apps look and behave much like the native apps you find on Windows and OS X. They're built using web technologies, but also with Chrome-specific code that means they won't be able to run on other web browsers - they're truly Chrome apps. They can exist outside of your browser window as distinct apps, work offline, and sync across devices and operating systems. They can also access your computer's GPU, storage, camera, ports, and Bluetooth connection. Chrome Apps are, for now, only available through Chrome on Windows or Chrome OS on a Chromebook. Mac users will have to wait another six weeks before their version of Chrome will be updated.

This is very important for Chrome OS - since this means it can now have applications outside of the browser. Google's plans for Chrome OS suddenly became a whole lot clearer.

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RE[2]: Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Fri 6th Sep 2013 20:20 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Nelson"
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Yeah, didn't Flash start out this same way? It was this thing you could use when regular HTML just wouldn't do.

Yes, but Flash became an independent app runtime after the fact. Not before. Flash always was a way to enhance existing website deployments and was from the start marketed as such. Rich Internet Applications as they were called.

And then people started writing entire web sites with it, so instead of being this parallel thing, it ended up being a rather grotesque form of lock-in.

I think the results speak for themselves, in that HTML back then was entirely too limiting. For example, I remember when Silverlight 2.0 launched it had a JIT compiler that was ~1000x faster than Javascript. Obviously things have come a long way, but they weren't always so palatable.

I don't see that happening again, especially because Google isn't aiming this at the same market that Macromedia/Adobe was with Flash.

If HTML/JS isn't up to the task of doing real app dev work, then let people write REAL native apps that don't require a fucking web browser to be present. How much sense does that make?

You're talking about sense when there's a browser sitting in between the app and the OS. There's never, ever going to be sense in that. Ever.

If you're just going to write apps that work the same on every OS, then you might as well have only one OS.

Cross platform applications are the biggest lie of the century. Maybe they were true when the computing platforms were Windows, Linux, and OSX but with the advent of the mobile OSes, that's no longer an achievable goal.

HTML is a lowest common denominator (write once, suck everywhere) that we've been able to shoehorn into something, but I'm not convinced any platform can do it now. Not Flash, not Silverlight, and not Chrome Apps.

I think Google's ambitions (particularly on the cross platform side) are kind of silly, but that's completely aside from whether or not this is a nefarious act. I'm not convinced it is.

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