Chrome-based Calculator app

Existing and new Chrome apps can run on Android using today's new tools

The picture you see above is Google's future. No, not a poorly designed calculator application that doesn't even fill the window it is drawn in, but the code behind it. You see, the same code that runs this Chrome packaged application was used, line for line, to build this Android application.

This is a very big deal.

It's part of a new set of developer tools that Google has put out today, designed to do one thing — run "native" Chrome packaged applications on Android and iOS. Using a new set of scripts and tools built around Apache's Cordova, the toolchain can take your HTML, JavaScript and CSS files currently used to make Chrome apps and wrap them neatly into a package that compiles and runs natively on Android or iOS.

While I'll leave the iOS development to someone more familiar with the platform, I spent the afternoon checking out just what it takes to turn a Chrome app into an Android app. I was surprised to learn that it's not all that much.

Using a few simple commands your existing (or new) Chrome apps can be wrapped into a project that will open in an IDE like Eclipse, or one that will easily build its own apk file with just a few commands at a terminal. These apps can be installed just like any other app, and are even able to be uploaded to Google Play or Apple's App Store.

Things are still a little rough around the edges, and not every API is supported just yet. But this is something that's going to keep growing, simply because it serves Google's best interests. And while it's not the perfect home-grown open solution, it is a fair and easy way for web developers to turn into mobile app developers with a few simple commands.

You can bet everyone will be keeping a watchful eye on this. In the meantime, to get started you can have a look at the overview of the project on GitHub, where you'll find links to everything you need.

Source: Chromium Blog

There are 17 comments


Now if they could only do the same thing but in reverse...

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timichas says:

Hear hear!

Would love to see some Android apps run on my computer.

Posted via Android Central App

Couldn't they just reverse the direction of the code conversion the other way to make it happen?

Posted via Android Central App

No, because this is converting HTML5/CSS/JavaScript programs into APK files that your Android would read. Most Android apps are written in Java or C++. Trying to turn Java or C++ into HTML or something your browser can read would be a real epic fail.

Posted from my Nexus 5

DWR_31 says:

You can.!
It's called BlueStacks.

Posted from my "KNOX-FREE" 4.3 Sprint GS3 Maxx...!!!
(ZeroLemon 7000mah battery)

rootedVette says:

Next up, Android Runtime installed on Chromebook!

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Grahaman27 says:

Unfortunately I don't think that's the direction Google is going.

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codemonkey85 says:

Amazingly it just occurred to me that most development done on Chromebooks is for web apps. How possible is it that now you will build an app on your Chromebook that can easily be deployed to Android, iOS, and the web? Will these tools work on a Chromebook?

XavierMatt says:

Awww ok. Why don't they just merge Android and chrome. So over this.

Editor in chief of

rvirga says:

RAD Soldiers for Android! Yeah!

s2weden2000 says:

no need for i0s apps...

eahinrichsen says:

Why not? The more apps that go cross-platform, the better for all of us.

nvoll84 says:

Chrome Remote Desktop for Android? Yes please.

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zackmack7 says:

Stuff like this makes me want to get into programming and app development. I love Android, and want to make apps for it, but I suck at programming. I'm an IT major in college. I want to do computer networking but my university requires me to take java programming. I'm currently on my third attempt at passing this Java class lol

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Wish it was in reverse so all chrome devices get android apps.just imagine how popular the chrome book will be....

Posted via Android Central App from Nexus 7 2013

S-Doo-1965 says:

Didn't Palm do this with enyo?

muchtall says:

I was just thinking the same thing.

"Everything old is new again"