Google Chrome Apps support for Android and iOS may hit beta as soon as January 2014

Google Chrome Apps support for Android and iOS may hit beta as soon as January 2014
When Andy Rubin first stepped down as head of Android and was replaced by Sundar Pichai, who also retained his title as head of Chrome and Google Apps, it seemed inevitable that we would be seeing more cross-pollination between Google's two major platforms. Not too long ago, we heard that Chrome Apps were going to be coming to mobile devices, and now we have an idea when we might see that.

It seems that Google has been hiding the info in plain sight, with a GitHub page dedicated to "Mobile Chrome Apps". The page is run by a software developer at Google, Michal Mocny; and, the page's documentation even shows off a toolkit that can be used to build Chrome Apps for mobile platforms. Google is suggesting that developers target Android 4.0 and higher, although technically lower versions are supported. iOS support has not yet been finished, but is in the works. 

Mobile Chrome Apps will be a combination of native code and Chrome App polyfill, which is essentially code that replicates APIs you would expect to be present in a browser. The apps will be distributed through the Google Play Store and the iOS App Store; and, presumably work the same way Chrome Apps do on desktop platforms, where they look like separate apps, and work offline, but are essentially nothing more than HTML, JavaScript, and CSS. 

Google developer advocate Joe Marini says, "[Google hopes] to have something in beta form in January." We would assume that the Android beta is the target there, given that iOS support isn't even finalized yet. 

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