If you are reading this, there is a very good chance that you are reading this piece on the Google powered browser – Chrome, after all, almost every third person on the internet is using Google Chrome. With an estimated 36.3% market share among all browsers, Chrome stood closely at second place behind Firefox which had 36.6% share (stats for the month of February 2012). Ever since its inception on 2nd September 2008 (beta release) to the latest version release on 8th February 2012 (Google Chrome 17), the browser has managed to garner much attention and has established a loyal following in the cyber space. With the introduction of the Google Chrome Web Store in the Chrome 9 release on 3rd February 2011, Google opened new avenues for app developers. There are at least half a dozen app stores available to the developers to choose from, be it the Apple app store, the Android market, the Nokia Ovi store or the lesser known Intel AppUp developer program. Then why would a developer switch to apps’ development for the Chrome Web Store in the first place?
A few points worthy of consideration are:
1. The massive success the Google browser has faced in its relatively small life span of 3.5 years is commendable, simply because of the fact that when it first entered the market, Microsoft IE was its direct competition and the Darth Vader of web browsers wasn’t going to give up its place to a newbie in a jiffy. But Chrome has not only out played IE, it even outclassed IE and other browsers in the browser war thanks to Google’s highly successful and highly productive policy of keeping the focus on rich user-experience rather than on feature richness. And let’s face it; which developer in his/her right mind wouldn’t wish to reach out to the millions-strong galaxy of loyal Google users.
2. On a slightly more technical note – with the introduction of Chrome’s new Tab page, the developers stand to benefit thanks to an improved security settings system that was designed with web apps in mind. To make this point a little more clear let us consider the case of normal websites that need to seek your permission every time they perform common functionality like showing notifications or using your location to offer a customized experience. The installable apps developed for the Chrome Web Store need to ask for such permissions only once which is at the time of installation of Google Chrome. This again makes for a richer, more convenient user experience.
3. The innumerable quality features added to the browser such as – Support for HTML5 beginning in Chrome 3, support for WebGL for 3D graphics from Chrome 9, support for hardware-accelerated 3D CSS from chrome 12, support for Google Cloud Print in chrome 16 and very many quality oriented security fixes over several releases- has only added more teeth to the already loaded Google Chrome arsenal. This essentially means that the developers don’t have to wait for stable releases to use these technologies. They can integrate these in their web services and deploy them without compatibility scares to over 170 million strong user base who are using the same version of Google Chrome.
So if you are an app developer looking to make a mark and are not sure which store or market to start off with, hopefully this piece gave you some pointers. The Google Chrome Web Store is here and it is here to stay. Are your internet acts being driven by a leader ?