Welcome to the app party, Chrome!

By Chester Comments 6


Today, Google officially released Chrome Apps, apps “written in HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS” that “look and behave like native apps” on the desktop. From Google’s blog post, “think apps designed for your desktop or laptop, just like the ones for your phone and tablet.” Chrome Apps even come with an app launcher, which “lives in your taskbar and launches your apps into their own windows.”

Sound familiar? We are flattered. 🙂

To us, this is further validation of: 1) the value of breaking apps free of the browser for a highly engaging, native-like app experience on the PC and 2) the importance of modernizing the app experience on the PC form factor, despite the PC’s premature eulogies.

It’s been over two years since we first invited web developers to the app party by beta launching the Pokki app platform and enabling easy creation and distribution of native-like desktop apps using standard web languages like HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS. Since then, we’ve seen amazing, unique apps created (like Instagrille, the most popular Instagram desktop app), leading game developers (like Kabam and Zynga) transform their web and social games into desktop apps, tens of millions of users download these apps onto their PCs, and now leading OEMs like Lenovo and Acer integrate and ship Pokki on their devices.

But we have a long ways to go. Web apps are still largely second-class citizens to the browser, clicks and tabs away from connecting developers and users. The PC ecosystem has been left in the dust, when comparing the software and hardware innovation to what we’ve witnessed in mobile.

While there are striking similarities between Chrome Apps and Pokki, our motivations and approaches to solving these problems are quite different.

Google’s “Trojan horse” aims to make Chrome OS “a full-fledged operating system” (chockfull of Google search and services) to replace Windows, whereas Pokki is here to help reinvigorate the Windows ecosystem – for users, developers, and device manufacturers.

While Google preaches “open” through its use of “open standards,” the Chrome App Store is all about Chrome Apps. Pokki, on the other hand, is focused on improving app access and discovery regardless of the app type, device, OS, browser, or search engine. In fact, we just opened our app distribution platform to support multiple app types (like traditional PC desktop apps). Who knows, if Chrome Apps ever gain traction, maybe we’ll add Chrome App support as well!

Despite our different motivations and approaches, we are officially welcoming Chrome to the party! Better late than never!

  • Chris LaChance

    Sweet guys! Thanks for all you’ve been doing, especially on Windows 8 machines!

  • http://www.hackingphotography.com/ Mike Newton

    Wow, unbelievable! It’s definitely validation when the big boys trying playing in your backyard!

  • philpav

    Opera had HTML5 desktop apps before. Unfortunately they and many more unique features have been removed in the latest versions in favor of building a browser based on the Blink engine.

    • Юрий Константинов

      Opera phased out the Gadget Platform out of laziness, plus the code is largely identical to WIndows Gadgets – only APIs are different. Furthermore, Opera’s “fish tank” app was CLEARLY meant for Vista rather than Opera but was using Opera for testing.

  • Юрий Константинов

    Chrome App Launcher is more of a “pinned bubble” whereas Pokki is a solid start menu, even replacing start menu in win8 🙂 You’re beating’em Google thugs!

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