Chrome Packaged Apps Now Available in the Chrome Web Store

Chrome packaged apps will be available in the Chrome Web Store for anyone on Chrome's developer channel on Windows and Chrome OS. Google and Adobe releases CFF rasterizer for FreeType.

Developer preview of Chrome packaged apps and the Chrome App Launcher, that was launched in February of this year on Windows and Chrome OS--is now available in the Chrome Web Store for anyone on Chrome's developer channel.

The developer preview released earlier enabled you to upload Chrome packaged apps to the Chrome Web Store and test the app install flow. However, a Chrome packaged app was discoverable via a direct link to it, not via searching and browsing the store. Now, "you will notice that the "App" category now contains only the new Chrome packaged apps. A new category, called "Websites", contains all existing hosted apps and legacy packaged apps," informs Chrominum team.

Package apps launch from outside of the browser, using the Chrome App Launcher - a new icon that will be added to the operating system's taskbar.

"Packaged apps deliver an experience as capable as a native app, but as safe as a web page. Just like web apps, packaged apps are written in HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS. But packaged apps look and behave like native apps, and they have native-like capabilities that are much more powerful than those available to web apps."

"These combine the best of websites and native applications -- they're available offline & from any computer, are always up to date, and they can communicate with devices like USB drives & Bluetooth speakers," explains Google.

"Many of these apps are works in progress, which is why we're only making them easily available on Chrome's dev channel. If you've written a packaged app, or are working on one, now is a great time to get some early feedback and polish your app before Chrome packaged apps become more broadly available," writes Chromium.

Chrome Packaged Apps Preview

In other news, Google with Adobe and the FreeType project, released the Adobe CFF engine, an advanced CFF rasterizer, into open source for beta test.

The FreeType open source software powers font display on more than a billion devices--and is used for rendering on a variety of platforms including Android, Chrome OS, Linux, iOS, and many versions of Unix.

"Text rasterization produced by the new Adobe CFF engine in FreeType is dramatically more faithful to the typeface design. The improvements include better stem widths and placement, fewer dropouts, dramatic reduction in the "blobbiness" of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, and more even visual weight. While all of this may sound somewhat technical, the advantages are not, and will benefit technical and non-technical users alike. These improvements lead to more beautiful looking text that is easier to read," Google writes.

FreeType Native CFF Rasterizer