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Google Chrome Apps landing on Android and iOS platforms

In early September 2013, Google introduced Chrome Apps that are standalone applications and run as native app out-of-the browser. Till today, it was limited to desktop operating systems. Now the Chrome Apps have also arrived on Android and iOS.

Google has released a preview toolkit based on Apache Cordova for developers. It’s an open source framework, and developers can port or convert their web apps (written in HTML, CSS and JavaScript) into native apps.

“The toolchain wraps your Chrome App with a native application shell and enables you to distribute your app via Google Play and the Apple App Store. We provide a simple developer workflow for packaging a Chrome App natively for mobile platforms. You can run your Chrome App on a device or emulator using the command-line or an IDE.” Google software engineer Andrew Grieve wrote on the official blog.

Thanks to Apache Cordova and SDKs, developers can create native applications easily and distribute on Google Play and Apple App Store. The Mountain View group provides a simple workflow and step-by-step instructions for packaging of Chrome Apps.

To test these apps, developers can directly run them on the mobile device or can also use an emulator inside IDE.

Unlike the Chrome Apps for desktop, mobile versions can exploit all the characteristics of a smartphone and a tablet. In addition to the available APIs with the toolkit, developers can also use a number of Chrome APIs provided by Google such as login and payments, send and receive data over the network, save data on the local storage, push messages, notifications, setting alarms and sync your files with Google Drive.

The available package is pre-release version and will be improved based on feedback by developers.

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