John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Google’s App Store for the Web

At its annual I/O conference Wednesday, Google previewed a Web applications storefront it plans to build into its Chrome browser and forthcoming Chrome OS.

Like Apple’s (AAPL) iTunes App Store and Google’s (GOOG) own Android Market, the Chrome Web Store will showcase free and paid videogames, magazines, productivity apps and the like. As Web applications, they’ll run on most modern browsers. But if you happen to be running Chrome, you can “install” the apps directly in the browser so that they can be accessed via a sort of “super-bookmark.”

“Once installed, a Web app gets a big icon in Google Chrome’s app launcher area, as well as some integration with the host OS,” Google explains in its documentation for the store. “When running, an installed Web app has a special frame and other UI enhancements to make the Web app easier to distinguish from other Web content.”

That sounds like a nice enhancement, but will it be enough to convince people to pay for Web apps they’re used to getting for free?