The main focus of Google’s first keynote at Google IO was HTML5 and the future of web applications. In recent times, it’s become possible to do more and more things in the browser that we used to have to download dedicated apps for. With new technologies like HTML5, so much more is possible and Google are really pushing it as a major part of computing going forward. It’s a part of their strategy for the desktop with Chrome and Chrome OS, mobile with android and the living room with Google TV. It was always in the background throughout their entire conference with a presence in everything that was being talked out.
The chrome web store is a natural progression of web apps and makes them accessible in a way more akin to traditional applications. You can “install” apps to your new tab page in either chrome browser or chrome OS. Installing is really only installing a high resolution icon which acts as a bookmark to the app itself, although parts of the apps may be installed onto the local drive for offline access, but that’s pure speculation on my part.
I think this is something which really lends itself well to the minimalist, predominantly online nature of chrome OS and I think it’s an important step in allowing the average user to be able to keep tabs on their email, calendar, documents, social networking sites and more, which are all browser based in their primary form. I think it’s important to differentiate real web apps from regular web sites and have a separate place for all your most used tools.
I can’t wait to see what HTML5 will allow us to do in the near future, and the web store rekindles my excitement for chrome OS.