Earlier this month Google released an update to its Chrome Web browser
Earlier this month
Google released an update to its Chrome Web browser that enabled a new app launcher on the desktop. Available only on Windows and Chrome OS for the time being, the Chrome App launcher marks another step along Google’s path to convergence for its software platform, but more than that it marks a shift in the way we think about applications.
The average end user doesn’t care what their app is built with as long as it loads quickly and does what it’s told. Web technologies have been mature enough to create attractive, responsive interfaces for some time now, but a browser is still needed in most cases to render the code. Chrome Apps have none of the standard Chrome browser controls, so visually they can look like anything. Even native desktop apps are typically governed to some extend by the design of the parent OS.
Applications like Adobe Photoshop, FinalCut Pro, and Maya are a ways away from becoming Chrome Apps. Resource heavy, media-centric applications benefit from performance gains of native code and direct access to hardware — two things most browser apps can’t make use of… yet. As more of the barriers between Web and desktop are broken down and Web apps get better access to hardware, Web counterparts to these high-powered media apps will likely be more commonplace.
Chrome Apps have always felt kind of like glorified browser extensions, even with a shiny marketplace and the ability to sync when you sign into Chrome. There are definitely good Chrome Apps available, but even some of those are just the app website wrapped in a container.
Whether Chrome Apps usher in this new era of hardware-accessing, HTML-based applications single-handedly remains to be seen, but anyone creating desktop-only software without an eye on the Web is poised to be left behind by their users.
Deplogy is a web and mobile app Development Companyknown for creating a lasting experience through bold design and disrupting the status quo. We are entrepreneurs and craftsmen first, and a digital creative agency second. Inspired by our visionary clients, we transform ideas into innovative web and mobile applications.