Apps vs. Extensions: What’s the Difference?

Posted on 27. Sep, 2010 by in News

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appsvsextensions11The upcoming launch of the Chrome Web Store will replace the existing official Chrome extensions site and place both webapps and extensions under one single directory. But for many people, there is some difficulty in distinguishing the difference between applications and extensions.

In order to stave off any confusion, an article has been published in Google’s Code Labs to help explain the difference. Basically, an application is something that has its own UI and is displayed in the browser window. Separately, extensions notify and otherwise enhance the web experience.

The article also explains further for developers’ proper packaging standards in the “.crx” format as well as information about permissions for auto-updating. What’s interesting as well is the difference between hosted apps and packaged apps, whereby the latter will be able to run web applications off of the hard drive while the former simply directs a user to a secure web location using a manifest.json file.

Packaged apps offer an interesting bridge between extensions and hosted apps. They contain all of the elements needed to run the webapp, but right off of the internal storage. This is a smart way to run things; many believe that everything will run off of bandwidth which is not completely true and will help to give users a better experience in some cases.

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Related posts:

  1. Video: A Look at the UI Concepts for Chrome and its Extensions
  2. Chrome Web Store Launches With 500 Apps, Some Quite Stunning
  3. Now Available – Chrome Extensions From Google

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5 Responses to “Apps vs. Extensions: What’s the Difference?”

  1. Planktno

    27. Sep, 2010

    From the link:

    Hosted apps may be a better choice if your app and content are very large. The store imposes a 10MB limit on CRX files, which may be problematic for packaged apps, although they could always download further content via network calls.

    What about games? There are a lot of games out there (flash) that are bigger than 10MB. And how do they want to get Lego Star Wars (AFAIR[emember] shown at the Google IO 2010) in 10MB? Needing to download the game after you actually “start” it (as suggested above) is just plain stupid.

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  4. Daniel Cawrey

    27. Sep, 2010

    For in-depth games this would not work. I see this more of a bridge towards full fledged webapps more than anything else.

  5. Spam engine

    24. May, 2013

    Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this, like you wrote the
    book in it or something. I think that you can do with some pics to drive
    the message home a bit, but other than that, this is
    magnificent blog. An excellent read. I will certainly be back.

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