Google launches tools to run Chrome apps natively on Macs, Android and more

Following up on news it made public at last May’s I/O developer event, Google on Tuesday launched a toolset to bring Chrome apps to other platforms, including smartphones and tablets. Based on Apache Cordova, the tool is basically a native application wrapper that fits around the Chrome(s goog) app so it can be distributed through either the Google Play Store or Apple’s App Store.

An example image shows a task management Chrome app — built with HTML, JavaScript and CSS — that appears like a native app on a Mac(s aapl) or Android device:

chrome apps on other devices

If you’ve been paying attention — or listening to our Chrome Show podcast —  you knew this was coming already. Google showed off Chrome apps on an Android device last May using Cordova and then again at its Google Chrome Summit in November.

The idea has always been that Chrome is not just a browser, but a platform built upon web-based technologies; one that can run atop other platforms, such as OS X or Windows. The introduction of the new toolset for developers simply gives the Chrome platform the basis of an application ecosystem. And it offers developers a chance to target multiple platforms through Chrome apps.