Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Chrome packaged apps power up, snag enhanced iTunes and Bluetooth 4.0 capabilities

PCWorld - Who needs Windows? Soon, you'll be able to use Chrome-based standalone apps to communicate with a Fitbit, sort through an iTunes music library, and pay for in-app purchases via Google Wallet. Google recently announced a slew of updates and additions to the APIs (application programming interfaces) available to developers making packaged apps for Google’s browser.

You may not have heard of packaged apps, as they're currently still in the development stages. Packaged apps are built on top of Chrome using Web technologies such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. The big difference between packaged apps and regular Chrome apps is that packaged apps are standalone programs that operate in a separate window and can—crucially—run offline. 

They are also stripped of all the typical browser “chrome” such as the URL address bar and tabs, to more closely resemble a typical PC application. 

The developer preview of Chrome's packaged app launcher 
running in Windows.
Packaged apps will give Google the ability to invade the traditional desktop with its own selection of Chrome-based apps that aren’t dependent specifically on Linux, OS X, or Windows.  More