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May 20, 2010 - Comments Off on Developing web apps for the Chrome web store

Developing web apps for the Chrome web store

Erik Kay

Yesterday's keynote recap

* Web apps
* Chrome web store

Two perspectives on web apps

* Users: How can I get better web apps?
* Developers: How do I make money doing this?

From a user perspective, web apps can be difficult to find. Awareness.

No authoritative place for web apps. Web apps may contain a lot of contain, but generally doesn't contain content that can be crawled and indexed in the standard way.

The cheaper the purchase is, the more the trust and convenience issues get in the way.

Web apps are special to users, but the browser treats it like any other page.

Web apps don't have a shortcut to launch them, don't have deep OS integration. Etc.

Security model of browser is good, because able to trust most links. Part of model enforces limited capabilities. There are times we'd like the web app to do more, but no way to indicate this trust.

Web store link will be integrated tightly with the Chrome. Link always there.

Apps launched from the apps tab will display differently. Address bar hidden (to make the app central). The actual app tab will be smaller, but the favicon will be larger. Trying to treat the app as a first-class citizen.

How to monetize web apps

If costs are high and traffic is low, you don't get to set the price, it sets itself.

Need to integrate with payment processors.
In order to attract the most users, must target the least capable browser.

Web store wants to handle licensing and payment for you. Web is not a captive audience--not like the other phone app stores.

Pushing us to just use Chrome (???) and the Chrome web store. A lot of users on Chrome. Explicitly said, "We don't need to target the lowest browser anymore." Interesting (especially since the web app is available on the web) and a lot of these features aren't even supported in Firefox. Reminds me a lot of what Gears promised two years ago (and never delivered). And then it was gone.

Any app can go in the web store (HTML, Flash).

Can add a JSON manifest and icons for packaging to the store.
Can add permissions at install time to remove some of the browser's security model!
Can add permissions property to JSON manifest (array of required permissions).

If user trusts and installs the app, then will not be constantly prompted by the browser.

Installation similar to an extension.

Google Maps added geolocation support for select browers. (hadn't noticed this before)

Action items

* FAQ:
* Docs:
* Build a really cool web app
* Join the discussions

Developer preview this summer and then open to public in the fall.

Published by: jeffreybarke in The Programming Mechanism
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