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Chrome apps will soon masquerade as native iOS and Android apps

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Chrome apps will soon masquerade as native iOS and Android apps

Google has revealed that Chrome Apps will soon appear in the iOS App Store and Android Google Play marketplace, masquerading as native smartphone apps.

The initiative to get Chrome Apps on mobile platforms began today, with a developer preview based on Apache Cordova.

Chromium engineer Andrew Grieve described Cordova in a blog post as an open-source development framework for building mobile apps using HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

The toolchain Google has introduced takes Chrome Apps and repackages them as native smartphone apps for iOS and Android, making it easy for Chrome App developers to re-release their apps on those platforms.

For developers' eyes only

In 2013 Google introduced a "new breed" of Chrome Apps that look and act like native applications and work offline across every desktop operating system.

Now it's applying the same principles to mobile platforms.

For Chrome App developers looking to get in on the mobile action, Google has provided a convenient developer workflow.

Google has also converted many core Chrome Apps APIs, including sign-in, storage, push messages, alarms, and more, to run on mobile devices.

Other APIs, like notifications and payments, are currently Android only, but will likely come to iOS at some point as well. Cordova features its own set of mobile APIs as well.

Google said it expects to continue to improve this toolchain as the developer preview gets going and it receives feedback from devs.

In the meantime, smartphone users can watch out soon for Chrome Apps to begin arriving in their respective app stores.

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