Google brings Chrome apps to iOS

This past December, Google brought its Chrome apps launcher to Macs everywhere. Today it continues the march into Apple territory with the launch for Chrome apps for iOS. Based on the Apache Cordova open-source mobile development framework, the toolchain will allow developers to make mobile apps for Chrome using HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Above you can see an example of what the web app currently looks like on the mobile Android platform.

Like their desktop brethren Chrome's mobile apps are designed to be launched outside the browser and work offline. However the mobile apps will apparently have access to certain APIs that will be unavailable for use by web apps, thanks to the Cordova APIs. Here are some of the core Chrome APIs that will be running natively on mobile devices.

  • identity -- Sign-in users using OAuth2 without prompting for passwords.

  • payments (currently Android only) -- Sell virtual goods within your mobile app.

  • pushMessaging -- Push messages to your app from your server.

  • sockets -- Send and receive data over the network using TCP and UDP.

  • notifications (currently Android only) -- Send rich notifications from your mobile app.

  • storage -- Store and retrieve key-value data locally.

  • syncFileSystem -- Store and retrieve files backed by Google Drive.

  • alarms -- run tasks periodically.

Currently the toolchain is in a developer preview mode. If you're interested in getting started with developing a Chrome mobile app, check out their dev workflow and take a look at their current sample apps.