Chrome Apps will soon be able to run without the Chrome browser


Chrome Apps and extensions are starting to become a monster of their own. They no longer need to be online, work natively and run like any other program. In a way, it’s Google’s solution for making the web much less dependent on operating systems and hardware. There is one huge issue, though!

These apps and extensions can only run when the Chrome browser itself is running. I have been wondering when Google will be fixing this, and it seems we won’t have to wait long. The guys at The Next Web have found a bit of info that proves Google is working on separating Chrome apps from the browser.

This information was found in a readme file from Chrome Code Reviews. In short, Google is trying to give apps API access without having to run the whole Chrome process.

app_shell is an experimental project to build a minimal environment like content_shell. The goal is to be able to run a v2 app and supply most of the chrome.* extension APIs without running the rest of Chrome.

app_shell is only officially supported on Chrome OS.

#How to run
app_shell –app=/path/to/extension


This is a big step in making Chrome and Chrome OS successful. Chrome OS is essentially running Chrome all the time, so it won’t be affected much. Such is not the case for those using Chrome in other platforms, though.

Take the Google Keep app as an example. I often want to use this app without having to open Chrome, but said action is impossible. The same applies to the Hangouts extension. I can’t wait to see more progress on this.

Of course, Google is staying quiet about this, but we can expect to learn more about this in due time. Hopefully sooner rather than later.