By far, the most popular desktop and mobile browser in the world is Google Chrome and now that Android and Chrome OS are also making their marks on the tech market, Google is reportedly looking to make it easier for developers to come out with Chrome apps that can be ported to iOS and Android.
Up until now, an application was either made for Chrome OS or for Android, mainly because Chrome OS is not for phones. This has prevented developers from attaining a larger reach with their applications especially if the apps were released on Chrome first and developing another mobile version was too difficult or too expensive. Google may soon be coming out with a way to "wrap" the applications so that they are more of a hybrid, allowing them to easily be ported onto iOS and Android.
Opening up current and future Chrome OS apps to Android and iOS will attract thousands of extra users. The documentation for the new developer tools has been found on GitHub and appears to suggest that the packaged apps will eventually be available on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.
Right now, Chrome OS applications are coded in HTML5, which is a great coding language for developers since it is relatively easy to use. Since Chrome mobile apps are at the forefront of Google's attention, these HTML5 applications may soon be available on iOS and Android from the App Store and the Google Play store.
On the technical side of this toolkit, app creators will be able to create these packaged apps with the help of Apache Cordova. By coming out with a toolkit such as this one, Google will be able to develop Android and Chrome OS and separate systems while still allowing their applications to work with each other and even port between operating systems.
A Growing OS
Despite the fact that Google is aiming these tools at improving Android, they may help Chrome OS grow as well, which will only increase adoption rates. Since Chrome OS is smaller than Google's mobile operating system, if a developer must chose one or the other, Android is simply the better option.
Even with a relatively small number of apps, Chrome OS is attaining more attention from people that mainly care about using their computers for Web browsing and Web-based apps. Chromebooks are generally cheaper than any reputable Windows machine and as such, they are also lighter and faster. There are definitely limitations to Chrome OS however, since the operating system relies on Web apps for everything.
With apps at the core of Chrome OS, this new developer toolkit will surely help Google's desktop operating system grow into a mainstream OS that can compete with Mac OS X and Windows.