App Store For Chrome Browser Coming

By the end of this year, Google has announced that it will open a consumer app store for its Chrome browser which will allow developers to expose and sell apps like multimedia magazine content and 3D games supported by the latest generation of web browsers directly to consumers.

Google made the announcement at its annual I/O developers’ conference, asking the 5,000 software developers attending the conference from around the world to begin writing applications for the new Chrome Web Store. A Google spokeswoman declined to be specific about a launch date.

Google was intent on showing the potential applications incorporating text, video and sound that could be written with the latest HTML5 standard for Web browsers.

Terry McDonell, editor of Sports Illustrated, showed off a magazine app still in development, which featured video running within a frame of text, along with more fully interactive embedded advertising that would not only demonstrate a product such as a camera, but could also point consumers to the nearest store to buy one. There would also be a social sharing tool to allow readers to share content with their friends.

“It’s really a very simple idea,” McDonell said of SI’s HTML5 app. “It’s to somehow put together the best of the Web with the best of the magazine, to pull out the absolutely most important things in the DNA of the magazine and transfer them in way that they are even more enjoyable, like photography, for example.”

Andmost importantly, he added, touching on an issue precious to newspaper and magazine publishers, the app would be good enough quality to charge for it.

Google said the app store would be available both for its Chrome browser, as well as the Chrome operating system the company is developing for netbooks and other devices. Google said the Chrome browser now has about 70 million users, compared with about 30 million at this time last year. The app store will support at least 40 languages and offer free as well as paid apps.

Google also said starting today it would open its Wave communication tool, a means of information exchange for all sorts of content that Google has said could replace e-mail, to everyone. For most of the last year, Wave has been available only to people who get an invitation from Google.

Google engineer Lars Rasmussen, the co-founder of Wave, said the company has made many improvements during that trial period, including making Wave run faster. For people who tried Wave last year and found it wanting, “now is a good time to come back and give it a second try. Wave is a lot faster,” Rasmussen said at the Google developer conference.

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