Hi folks! In this tutorial we are going to be looking at the Chrome WebStore. In this article we cover the topic of what the Chrome WebStore is and its many powerful features. Let’s get started!
Chrome WebStore: What’s that?
The Chrome WebStore is an online marketplace which has been designed specifically for the Google Chrome browser. You may have heard a little bit about it. In the WebStore you can find a wide range of Apps (including games), Themes and Extensions to download and use through Google Chrome.
The power of the Chrome WebStore is in the fact that it has been designed for use with Google Chrome. And that is exciting because if you use it you will not need to worry about annoying Cross Browser issues. If it is supported in Chrome, then you can use it! That means you can make that synthesizer which uses WebGL and the WebAudio API you always wanted!
Apps, Extensions and Themes? Which is for me?
In the Chrome WebStore there are a few different types of downloadable content to choose from.
Apps are most likely what you are looking for, and what Kiwi works best with. An app in the WebStore is essentially an advanced website which the user can download and install. This is why they are very useful for games, because all the assets can be on the user’s browser rather than streaming off a distant server.
Extensions provide functionality across webpages. This functionality can vary (like online color pickers or rules) and they are generally available across multiple webpages, unlike an App, which will exist on its own page.
Themes will give a Chrome Browser its own style and flair. Always wanted flames on your browser, or racing stripes that match your car? Then this is for you.
For this tutorial, we will be look at Apps specifically.
Packaged and Hosted Apps
When it comes to Apps on the WebStore there are two different types to choose from: Packaged and Hosted. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it is key to choose the one which suits your needs.
Packaged Apps are apps in which the user typically downloads all the assets and scripts required to play your game. This means that apps which are ‘packaged’ can be run offline, without an internet connection. They also have access to chrome.* APIs to bring additional functionality to your games.
- Can be used offline.
- Additional Chrome APIs. Read more.
- ZIP File must be under 2GB in size.
Hosted Apps in the Chrome WebStore are typically just a link to a website, where your App currently exists or will exist. These types of Apps cannot be run offline and so the user will need an internet connection to use them. You will also need to manage all server costs for the App, but on the other hand you can make use of Server-side Technologies and the Chrome Licensing API.
- Users must have a Internet Connection.
- Can make use of Server-side Technologies.
- Access to the Licensing API
- Target multiple browsers.
- Hosting Costs for the App.
If you can’t decide which type of App to use, or you would like more further information, then visit the Chrome WebStore’s website on Choosing an App Type.
If you want to earn money for your App, then the Chrome WebStore also contains many Monetisation Features for your use. They support Free Trials, Up-front payment, In App Purchase, subscriptions, and even allow you to use your own methods! They have a nice tutorial on the WebStore about Monetisation where you can get more information.
The Chrome WebStore is a very good way to get your App noticed by avid users of Chrome. They have many options available and even if you have already launched your App, you can still use the WebStore with minimal extra development.
If you would like to continue further, then I think you should check out our tutorial about publishing your app on the Chrome WebStore.