Firefox and Chrome Team Up for Web App Compatibility
If only the rest of the world could be this peaceful.
Late last week the news broke that the developers at Mozilla and Google were going to work together on a framework called Web Intents, which is designed to allow Web apps to easily become compatible with both Firefox and Chrome, each company's respective brower. Web Intents was initially conceived by Google developer Paul Kinlan.
The basis of Web Intents comes from an already existing capability in Google's Android mobile operating system. What it will do is provide Web apps with the opportunity to express a simple call for an action, such as 'share' or 'edit,' and all receiving apps will be designed to use these. To make things easier for developers, these apps will not need any specific knowledge of the APIs of the other browser. So now, there will no longer be a need to code for each specific app that one might want to access, as developers can just use these simple requests that Web Intents provides, and they are already going to be built into the browser.
The Chrome and Firefox teams are each working on integrating this functionality into their own browser while also combining their designs to use just one API for Web app developers to be able to reach both platforms.
According to Kinlan, the goal with Web Intents is "to allow developers to build applications and services that could work with each other, but not need to explicity know about each other."
Google has succeeded with similar technology in the past, as Android has utilized comparable capabilites for some time to help make life a little easier for mobile app developers. Since the company is looking to advance its Chrome browser, including attempting to bolster its Web app store, Web Intents will be coming around at a great time.
This sort of broad capability among two of the most popular browsers in the world could mean big things for the Web application development community, as it will severely diminish the time it will take to create an app and get it online and in the hands of millions of users around the world.