Chrome Apps Benefit From Inline InstallationBy: Zach Walton - March 19, 2012
So you’ve built yourself a Chrome app and you put it up on the Chrome app store. Too bad there’s so many other apps there vying for attention. What’s an intrepid Chrome app developer like yourself to do? Google has the answer – inline installation.
Now, I assure you, inline installation isn’t some kind of new fad where we put inline skates on a Web browser. That just doesn’t make any sense. The true purpose of inline installation is to let potential customers download your Chrome app straight from your Web site.
You aren’t bypassing the Chrome store when you do this though. You are essentially providing a direct link to the Chrome app store on your Web site that allows users to download the app without leaving your Web site.
A few Chrome app developers have already implemented inline installation onto their apps and have seen their installation rates rise quite dramatically in some cases. The Chromium blog details the three examples of Evernote, Angry Birds and Equire. In the case of Evernote, they saw an increase of 15 percent when they implemented inline installation. Rovio saw an increase of almost 10 percent when they put a direct link to the Chrome version of Angry Birds on their Web site. Equire has seen the largest increase with 66 percent more installs since implementation.
The Chrome app store has already been pretty popular with millions of downloads per day according to the Chromium blog. Google expects that number to increase once users realize they don’t have to go to the Chrome app store to download Angry Birds.
How can you get inline installation on your Web site for your Chrome app? Google lays it out in three easy steps:
1. Provide a link to your Chrome Web Store item.
2. Write some script to check for whatever client-side capabilities your app requires (support for WebGL, the Web Audio API, etc). Modernizr is a great library to use for this.
Easier said than done, right? If you want more detailed instructions about how to implement inline installation, check out the code here.