Google Pinball game blurs distinction between installed apps and web apps on Android and iOS

Google Pinball game blurs distinction between installed apps and web apps on Android and iOS

Google published a pinball game this week. It is not the game, but the underlying technology that is both important and potent for the development of apps as well as web-based platforms. The pinball game is made with Flutter, one of Google’s favorite frameworks.

Just ahead of the Google I/O conference, which is usually a platform to showcase the company's favorite programming tools, the company launched a new game. The Google Pinball game has its own website but is cleverly designed to mimic an app that's installed on a smartphone. Simply put, Google is trying to blur the distinction between conventional smartphone apps that are installed on the device and web apps that majorly run on remotely located servers.

The pinball game has been made using Flutter, a framework developed and optimized for developers who can write software that can work on Google's Android, Apple's iOS, and the web. Google also confirmed that the framework benefits from Flame, a 2D game engine built on top of Flutter. Pinball uses Flame’s features such as animations, physics, collision detection, and more, while also leveraging the infrastructure of the Flutter framework.

Google Pinball game blurs distinction between installed apps and web apps on Android and iOS

The Pinball game can be loaded from its website in any web browser. But on Android, the website will ask users if they want to install it as an app on the home screen. That highlights Google's effort to bridge the gap between web apps and native smartphone apps that run on iOS or Android from the internal storage of the device.

The Pinball game seems like an attempt to push forth cross-platform programming as it is often one of the most challenging because of interface differences. The game’s website attempts to recognize the ecosystem in which it is accessed, and adapts accordingly. There are, however, some minor cosmetic glitches that can arise due to considerable variations in screen sizes.

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