Google announces Chrome Web Store at I/O dev conference

Google announced at their annual “I/O” dev conference today that they will be launching an app store for both Chrome and Chrome OS: the Chrome Web Store.  The store will feature both free and paid apps and a few early prototypes were shown. An interactive version of Sports Illustrated impressed attendees and icons for fan favorites Plants vs. Zombies, Pandora, Lego Star Wars and Bejeweled 2 were seen in slides.

Developers targeting the Chrome Web Store will be able to utilize advanced HTML5 APIs to build robust games and applications. Even 3D-heavy titles such as Lego Star Wars are possible using standard HTML5 code.

While all of the available apps will be using standard web code and APIs, Google has locked-down the marketplace so they will only work in Google Chrome and Chrome OS. It appears that Google has seen the success of Apple’s App Store and is embracing the value of a locked-down, vertically-integrated marketplace. TechCrunch reports that apps will be tethered to your Google account and purchases will probably go through Google Checkout.

With Chrome OS on the horizon, it is a smart move for Google to get the development community involved before its launch. This will allow for an extensive catalog of apps to be available upon release of the new OS, which will be key since it will rely almost solely on web apps for functionality outside of websites.

There is no word on when the Chrome Web Store will go public, but Engadget reports that it will hit the dev channel “soon.” Google also mentions to keep an eye on their developer discussion group and Chromium blog for updates.

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