Monday, September 22, 2014
In January, we told you about Chrome Apps for Mobile, a project based on Apache Cordova to run your Chrome Apps on both Android and iOS. The project provides a native application wrapper around your Chrome App, allowing you to distribute it via the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. Cordova plugins give your App access to a wide range of APIs, including many of the core Chrome APIs. The newest version of Chrome Apps for Mobile includes Chrome APIs for identity, Google Cloud Messaging (GCM) and rich notifications, as well as an improved developer workflow and modern WebView capabilities extended to older versions of Android.
The developer workflow for Chrome Apps for Mobile is now significantly faster and simpler with the new live deploy feature. With live deploy, you can instantly preview the Chrome App you’re editing, running right on your Android or iOS device. When you make a change to the code, you will be able to see it straight away. Live deploy is available in both Chrome Dev Editor (CDE) and the Chrome Apps for Mobile command line tool.
Chrome Apps are at their best when they leverage the powerful functionality and performance of the latest Chromium WebView. The introduction of an updated WebView into Android KitKat paved the way for advanced features such as WebRTC, WebAudio and Accelerated 2D Canvas, and we will continue to see improvements with each new Android release. However, now you have a way to leverage the latest Chromium WebView on any device running Android versions back to Ice Cream Sandwich by bundling your Chrome App with an embeddable Chromium WebView, provided by the Crosswalk open source project.
To show Crosswalk in action, we have taken the Topeka Polymer Web App released at I/O and packaged it as a Chrome App for Mobile, available for you to try out on Android.
Using Chrome Apps, you can now build performant and capable applications that target desktop, Android, and iOS devices. To get started, take a look at our documentation. As always, we welcome your feedback on Stack Overflow and our G+ Developers page.
Posted by Michal Mocny, Chrome Apps for Mobile Engineer and Mobile Magic Maker