12/13/10

The Realities of The Chrome Web Store




Chrome apps initially seemed like a wonderful idea and blew me away. As I got to thinking about it, I figured out the "Apps" are links to web pages that are made with a certain look and feel, have the word chrome slapped onto their URL, and use HTML5. In fact, many of the "apps" simply send you to a website that has been available for years.  

A few things surprised me while sifting through the web store. Most notably, there were no Facebook or Pandora apps. Clearly Facebook and Google have not been getting along well for quite some time, but I would expect Facebook to create a nice a little app and enjoy some cheap publicity while also improving user experience. Pandora is a flash based web application and has been for a long time, but I hoped they would make the shift to HTML5 and cut the strings that come attached with flash.  

Also surprising was how little Google tried to become a part of the experience, other than posting all their apps first. Their apps are just links to their previous pages, which I'm sure fit the criteria for being chrome apps. However, many other makers of apps, created insanely polished apps with new and innovative UI's or at least copied their iPad UI's. Several of the third party developers put Google to shame.  If Google was going to put forth so little effort on their applications they shouldn’t hold the top spots.

The chrome web store appears to be a power play by Google, using their Chrome market leverage to get developers off of flash and onto HTML5.  Google has many reasons to get rid of flash, primarily Google's newly "Released" online only operating system, also called Chrome. Without good web applications Chrome will not work, and flash is known to be buggy and cause issues with the battery life of portable computers and devices.  While the demise of flash is a benefit for both Apple and Google, I believe Google has more to gain, because Apple's app store could lose revenue to online web applications.

Bottom Line: Google's Web store is an incentive plan for web applications developers to use HTML5. If a developer uses HTML5 and submits an "App" to the Web Store they will receive free PR.  Google gets a healthier and better internet for its web only operating system and web browser.


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3 Response to The Realities of The Chrome Web Store

December 13, 2010 at 11:56 AM

Very WellThought Out

Tom
December 13, 2010 at 12:09 PM

You know, I don't think that it's necessarily a bad thing. You look at how well the iPhone App store has worked out for Apple, and you can understand why Google wants to get that kind of support behind HTML5 and Chrome.

December 13, 2010 at 12:12 PM

I think the web store is an awesome idea, I just feel that the implementation was a little half-hearted. I imagined all the apps being like Fancy Pants Adventure 2, which downloads the whole App to your computer and is launched only from Chrome. I imagined something where most of the app is on our side and then it has some internet connectivity. This would allow for offline usage of many features for many applications.

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