Chrome web apps may behave like native software at times, but they still require some form of the Chrome browser to run -- even if it's just a basic process. They may not need that component for much longer, though. The Next Web has discovered a batch of experimental code for an "App Shell" that would include only those Chrome elements that are absolutely necessary. In theory, you'd get lightweight, browser-independent web apps that still have the advantages of native code. The company isn't saying whether or not its new technology will reach the public. Given Google's efforts to package web apps for mobile without requiring Chrome, however, it wouldn't be surprising if App Shell gets a formal release.