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Google Launches Cordova Powered Chrome Apps For Android and iOS

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  • by Terry Pearson (935552) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @11:14AM (#46099929) Homepage Journal
    As a developer, I can see the usefulness of this. This makes me consider developing Chrome apps where previously I had not considered it. Usually, we have to choose our platforms based on our projected return and our limited time. This usually means that only Android and IOS are supported. Given that one could kill two birds with one stone, and have a bonus of Chrome apps, it may be worth checking out.
    • by Chrisq (894406)

      As a developer, I can see the usefulness of this. This makes me consider developing Chrome apps where previously I had not considered it. Usually, we have to choose our platforms based on our projected return and our limited time. This usually means that only Android and IOS are supported. Given that one could kill two birds with one stone, and have a bonus of Chrome apps, it may be worth checking out.

      I think the key will be the capabilities. If you can write apps that are nearly as rich as the native apps and performant enough for the application then I agree - the question will be "why not develop for Chrome and deploy on all platforms".

    • by CastrTroy (595695)
      I like the idea of a common toolchain to produce apps on many different platforms, but personally I think HTML+CSS+JS is going down the wrong path. It will probably allow you to to hammer out simple apps quite quickly, but it will probably fall apart when doing something more complex. It isn't even Object Oriented (yes you can kind of make classes/objects by adding properties and functions to other functions, but it doesn't support things like inheritance). Personally, I wish that projects like this would
      • As someone who has been using PhoneGAP/Cordova for about 3 years now it really depends on what the app has to do.

        There was a rush a few years ago that a lot of my clients "wanted an app". Oftentimes all this app had to do was pull RSS feeds + add push notifications. For simple apps like that HTML5/JS/CSS/Cordova works great.

        However when you start getting beyond simple "Feed & Form" Apps and need to more complex things. For instance, I had a client that wanted an app that needed a decibel meter. That

    • This makes me consider developing Chrome apps where previously I had not considered it.

      Excellent. Please don't, though.

      As a phone user (as well as a developer) I appreciate fast, easy to use, properly designed software. I have yet to see any piece of javascripted HTML that comes close to what a native app achieves. Even after all this time, all those javascript engine improvements, all those faster processors, anything that isn't pretty basic web *sucks* on mobile. That and the culture of web development never seems to take offline / unreliable connection as a serious issue, or supporting les

      • by psydeshow (154300)

        This makes me consider developing Chrome apps where previously I had not considered it.

        Excellent. Please don't, though.

        Well, that depends on the why, doesn't it? Sometimes a thing is only worth doing if it can be done on the cheap and easy.

        Cordova gives app developers a fallback for clients who can't afford a native app, or who need to get a prototype up and running yesterday as proof-of-concept or to fund the next stage of development. It's also great for novelties and one-offs that just wouldn't exist if the development process was more expensive than coding a small website.

        It also creates a business opportunity that shou

  • by RevWaldo (1186281) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @11:16AM (#46099945)
    ...with the feel of its rich Corinthian API.

    .
  • WTF? (Score:3, Funny)

    by TheDarkMaster (1292526) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @11:26AM (#46100013)
    HTML and javascript to build a desktop app on a system with limited resources? Who broke into the mental hospital?
    • Re:WTF? (Score:4, Informative)

      by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @11:37AM (#46100137)

      HTML and javascript to build a desktop app on a system with limited resources? Who broke into the mental hospital?

      It depends on what your app does. This may not be a good choice for a 3D game. But it could work well for an app that lets you rate restaurants. Plenty of apps are not compute intensive.

    • Wait for someone to run a javascript x86 emulator to host their app. That would be mental.

    • Yeah. Imagine trying to run HTML and Javascript apps on a limited system with only gigahertz, gigabytes and always on internet available. What would people in 1995 think?
      • by femtobyte (710429)

        What would people in 1995 think?

        Based on my memories of 1995, they'd think that the UI was far too low on blinking text and animated .gif bullet points to be useful.

        • And frames. We need to add more frames. If we don't use lots of frames, how will people tell where the various sections of our website are?

          • You may find it hard to swallow, but since we're talking about web apps turned into native apps, how about embedding Flash and Java Applets?

            Fortunately, I don't find much of anything hard to swallow.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Anyone else getting the feeling that Google is backing away from Linux distributions? I wonder if this is because they want Linux users to switch to Chrome OS and Android?

  • So this is just PhoneGap with Chromes limited API added.

  • by CadentOrange (2429626) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @12:22PM (#46100471)

    HTML5 was touted as the panacea of mobile app development back in 2012 (IIRC). The big news was when companies like Facebook and Linkedin migrated their iOS/Android apps to HTML5. Only problem is that the big name companies have since ditched [venturebeat.com] their HTML5 mobile apps and gone back to using native APIs. They cite performance issues (apps running out of memory and stuttery animation) as the reasons for the switch. This is not just limited to the big companies, and others are leaving [infoworld.com] the HTML5 mobile app boat.

    Google seems a little late to the party.

  • FTFY.

    Until the boffins at Intel or ARM create a processor whose machine code is JavaScript, you need bullshit quotes around that 'native' claim.

    If you want to make the argument that you don't need native code, that's your prerogative. Depending on the use case and requirements, you will no doubt be correct in a large number of cases -- I don't need a native slashdot app, the HTML version is quite sufficient.

    But why in God's name do you need to make a preposterous claim like that? What does that buy you?

    • Until the boffins at Intel or ARM create a processor whose machine code is JavaScript

      (Not JS but for J2ME) ARM did try embedding hardware support for VMs in the form of Jazelle and ThumbEE. That was a bust, since regular JIT compilation with more advanced VM techniques proved more performant.

  • I don't see how I could develop with this. PhoneGap gives you access to the phone itself: Contacts, Camera, Accelerometer, Etc. Even then I sometimes find it difficult to get all of the functionality I want in my mobile app and have to turn to user created plugins.

    It doesn't seem like I can access any of that with this technology, only the Chrome APIs that they mentioned. Very limiting.

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