Tag Archives: Chrome Web Store
Chrome’s in-app payment API isn’t really anything new- it’s been around for a couple weeks now. The fact that it’s going international, however…that’s some welcome news for any developers who aren’t based in the United States. Google’s expanding the API to cover developers in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Those of you based in any of the countries in that list can now apply for a merchant account, allowing you to accept in-app payments.
Now, the API hasn’t actually officially launched outside of the states yet- and sadly, there’s no clear word on an official launch date. Google’s still got that one in the works, and have stated that they’re planning to release the program later this year. This update isn’t just going to be good news for international developers, though. There’s a new feature Google’s planning to implement for the Web Store that local devs might find very interesting, too.
Basically, Google’s going to allow developers to target their applications and extensions towards specific regions. What this basically means is that if a developer only wishes to make their app available to Japanese consumers, they can choose to target the app towards that specific region. Anyone outside of Japan won’t be able to see the product in the app store, and anyone who does somehow manage to come upon it will be notified that the app isn’t available in their region. An interesting feature, to be certain- and one that’s sure to reduce clutter, to at least some degree.
On the other hand, it could potentially end up isolating some users. What happens if someone in Germany decides they need a particular app, but that application isn’t available outside of the US? I suppose it’s all just speculation-most developers probably aren’t going to shoot themselves in the foot in such a fashion, and I foresee this feature mostly being used to isolate region-specific applications from people who’d have no use for them anyway.
It was pointed out to me recently that the Chrome Web Store has grown significantly since its December 9 launch. At that time, it was released with 500 webapps. Looking at the number today, with over 3,500 webapps now available, that signifies a 700% increase in the number of applications that Chrome users have available since its launch. That’s a rapid increase, and made me start to think about all of the benefits of developing web applications.
The ability to develop across multiple platforms is a difficult issue. While we cannot definitively say that HTML5 and other open web technologies will become the go-to standard, companies like Google and Facebook are openly advocating it to independent developers. And while this is not the way Apple wants things, even to the point of conspiracy about the company against webapps, it’s where things are moving too. Flying under the radar is Mozilla who also have their own webapp market. It’s a point of ubiquity with the web – create one app through it and it can be used on any device with a modern browser.
Google is a sneaky company. Most people use their services, and some even profess their love for the company and its free services. But don’t be fooled because the company is very a profitable one. In 2010, the company made $8.5 billion. So there’s no doubt that Google is working on the Chrome OS initiative in order to make money.
The question is: how do they plan on profiting from giving away a free operating system? In some ways, it plans on using the Android model. But it’s clear that the company thinks it can make money in different ways than the mobile operating system. Here are five ways that it may plan on doing this.
The use of Chrome and web applications overall is something that not just the United States can benefit from, but countries all over the world. When the Chrome Web Store was launched in December, it was only available in the U.S., but it looks as if Google is prepping to take its web market to more places very soon.
They have announced a developer preview where applications can be uploading from creators based in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom. Payments for apps in these areas have not quite been set up yet, but they will be soon.
This is to aid developers in localizing certain features or languages for their customers. Google isn’t saying when the Chrome Web Store will be available internationally, but just “later this year”.
An international release of the Chrome Web Store will fuel some growth in webapps. Some speculation has persisted that the app market is not meeting the expectations set out for it from the outset. I’d like to think that the system is doing just fine, and like any new technology just needs time to mature. And hey – Chrome OS needs the Chrome Web Store to work at all right? Maybe an international release of it is in the cards soon.
How do you feel about the Chrome Web Store?
It’s been two months since the Chrome Stable Channel has been updated, and Google has announced today that version 9 is now being pushed out in the Stable channel. Along with the requisite security fixes, the browser also gets some new graphical ability as well as speed improvements over the previous version and the Chrome Web Store is now installed by default.
Security researchers have been award $2,000 for this release, and that included a problem where printing PDFs causes the browser to crash.
The newer builds of Chrome that are at version 10 allow you to do something that makes your new tab page a little bit easier to look at: you can move your apps around as you like. Dragging and dropping them wherever you want makes it easier to prioritize the ones you use the most.
This is especially true if you’ve installed a bunch of them and they are starting to crowd your new tab screen; I now have enough installed that they don’t fit in one window even after removing unused ones.
That’s another problem that I’m starting to wonder about. Crowding all these apps into one generic screen might not be the best way to organize these icons. Drag and drop is a step forward, but in the future there needs to be a bit more detail in the way that one can arrange these apps.
This is especially true for new users of Chrome OS, who need to get comfortable with the fact that there isn’t really a desktop, which is a reaction I get from people I’ve shown the Cr-48 to.
As it stands, drag and drop only seems to be working in the newest dev build of Chrome OS.
I’ve been noticing something common lately: Google is apparently advertising the Chrome Web Store to users. I ran into this rather large ad on a blog that I frequent.
I’m going to take a wild guess and suspect that Google targets these ads towards those who are already using the Chrome browser. As it stands right now Chrome 8, which is the stable version right now, doesn’t have a logo that directs users to the Chrome Web Store in a new tab.
However, that’s likely to change when Chrome 9 rolls out, which should be the week after next based on release cycles. It might be light on new features in the release because of the holidays, but expect to see the integrated games and Chrome Web Store promoted with this next release.
I also anticipate seeing more advertising from Google surrounding the Chrome ecosystem. There are still a ton of people who aren’t aware that Chrome exists, and Google can hit some serious sweet spots to take share away from IE and Firefox with marketing in certain places.
The thought crosses my mind that a Super Bowl ad like the one we saw last year but aimed directly at gaining Chrome users certainly is not out of the question.
I was searching for a PowerPoint webapp the other day when I came across an interesting app in the Chrome Web Store: Microsoft Office.
That’s right; you can get Word, Excel PowerPoint and OneNote all in the cloud. Microsoft has had this Google Apps rival suite for some time. It’s surprising to me that it is included in the Chrome Web Store, however.
Google wants to be able to sell its Apps suite to businesses and organizations, and Microsoft’s free offering complete with 25GB of free storage space, seems like and encroachment of that effort. However, some people will still choose Microsoft for productivity purposes, and perhaps the goal for Google here is to try and ease the transition for users.
What do you think? Would you use Microsoft’s free cloud-based Office product?
UPDATE: It appears that this has been removed from the Chrome Web Store.
I just noticed that when you open a new tab in Chromium, you get a slightly different web store logo than in the regular Chrome builds.
Maybe it’s the fact that I like blue, but the logo with several shades of it looks pretty darn good. Anyone else like this color scheme better than the regular Chrome Web Store logo?
This video shows Chrome business development manager Peter Chane talk about what the benefits are of creating an app for the Chrome Web Store. The fact that millions of users already use Chrome, plus the fact that installed apps appear in every new tab are a few of the many reasons why developers should consider developing or porting Chrome webapps.
The New York Times is reporting that several hardware partners working on Google TV devices are being asked to delay any product unveiling that might have happened at CES. This is due to the fact that Google wants to be able to update the software that runs these devices. Google TV currently lacks an application marketplace and has received a lukewarm reaction since its launch.
It seems like the platform is starting to have trouble selling devices; the Sony Blu-Ray player with Google TV has been discounted heavily. But consumers have complained that it is hard to use, likely because it doesn’t replicate the traditional television watching experience.
Does this delay shows that Google has issues partnering with hardware manufacturers?
All apps for Chrome OS hardware is in the cloud, and Google has decided to release its own central app directory to help users manage and find their software. It’s called the Chrome Web Store, and although some of these applications can be found floating on the web already, there are some big companies working on creating feature-rich apps that run right inside the browser-as-OS concept.