Google IO: Chrome is closing the gap between web and native

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This years Google IO is full of awesome new tech, but one I am most excited about is the effort to "close the gap" between web and native.

The livestream presentation isn't up yet, but you can access the Codelab here:
https://codelabs.developers.google.com/codelabs/web-capabilities

There's also more information (under the title "Creating a more powerful web") here: https://blog.chromium.org/2019/05/google-io-2019-whats-new-with-chrome.html

By the sound of it, most of these API's are scheduled for Chrome 78+ so we've still got a way to go, but it all sounds very promising.

What are your thoughts?

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I wonder if any of these APIs are actually going to be adopted by the other two browsers (not counting Edge because it will probably inherit them from Chromium).

I checked the WICG website, the incubator for these proposed standards, and it's interesting that the vast majority of those proposals come from Google and will likely end up being implemented (in front or behind a flag) in Chrome before they are even adopted as a standard.

I'm not advocating the merit of each of them, many seem practical and reasonable. It just feels Google's approach could result in a "Chrome mostly" web.

We'll see.

 

Google is definitely spearheading the initiative, but I don't foresee these as Chrome only features. I think other browsers will adopt so as not to fall behind - just as they all have (generally) always done.

 

I think other browsers will adopt so as not to fall behind

Exactly my point 😐

"hey other browsers, please implement this and that otherwise users will migrate to Chrome and we'll get our way anyway"

The net result is the same, a chrome mostly web,especially if devs start using these features without waiting.

The main difference (and yes it's way better than before) is that Google is using the W3C drafts, Microsoft with IE went unilaterally.

But it should give you pause, at least it does for me. Microsoft was fined because they controlled the operatingssystem and pre-installed their then crappy browser on millions of PCs stifling competition.

Google controls both billions of devices (Chrome is pre-installed on a lot of Android devices), controls the main search engine that those devices use and pays competitors billions to use its search engine by default.

They'll never be regulated for this I believe.

Doesn't this give you pause?

Again, chrome is way better than IE was, I'm not arguing the technical qualities of the browser or the proposals (some are truly amazing and sorely needed).

I just believe the end result will be a Chrome mostly (if not only) web.

I understand your concern, but I don't share it. I've seen the rise and fall of many browsers and yet the market is still competitive and pushing forward. Sure Chrome is leading the pack right now (and has for many years), but so did Netscape at one time and then IE. Interestingly that was IE's downfall. MS claimed market dominance and then allocated resources elsewhere.

Perhaps you'll be right and it will end up that way, I guess it just doesn't really bother me as long as the product is solid.

I obviously hope I'm wrong, and I hope MS adopting Chromium (though I would have loved if they were to adopt Firefox's engine instead) will curb this trend a bit.

Chrome only (or mostly) websites already exist, and not just Google products (like Hangouts):

I think the difference between Chrome now and the Netscape and IE days is twofold: the companies were smaller (and the market was as well) and Microsoft didn't control the search engine and there weren't billions of Android devices around (though unlike Windows then you can install your own choice of browser, as I did). There are new browsers popping up, but they are based on Chromium, I don't blame them, you need VC kind of money (or Google kind of money :P) to develop a browser from scratch, market it and sustain it while charging zero :-)

Part of Mozilla's funding is Google paying them to keep Google as a default search engine. Same does with Apple (though they obviously need the money less so).

This thread about the complicated relationship between Google and Mozilla is worth a read:

Perhaps you'll be right and it will end up that way, I guess it just doesn't really bother me as long as the product is solid.

Again, I hope I'm wrong. The quality of the products usually tend to be related to the drive ignited by competition and innovation. It's not like monopolies do not innovate ever, they tend to have less reasons to do so though.

I'm 100% sure Google wants a better web, we then need to define what a better web means though ;-) (for example: Google is proposing a change to Chrome that would break ad blockers like uBlock Origin)

Google is a huge company and like all huge companies they have many layers, some are great, some less so.

 

I can't wait for that to be the standard! Mobile development is becoming obsolete, web is the future

Classic DEV Post from Jan 10

Some Incredibly Clever Layout Pens from CodePen (with bonus twists)

I picked out a couple of posts that demonstrate CSS layout possibilities in interesting ways.

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