Bypass the Chrome Web Store with Inline Install for Apps and Extensions

Users can install apps from your site even if they're hosted by the Web Store

The Google Chrome Web Store has been a quiet success for Google. While the store may not be generating the kind of interest and discussion that its Google Play Store nee Android Market does, it's used by hundreds of millions of people.

But Google is looking to enable developers to go beyond the Web Store, in a way, by allowing them to serve apps and extensions from their own websites, even if the apps still come from the Web Store.

This has been available to developers for a while now and the ones that have implemented it have seen a noticeable pick up in installs, but Google wants to better popularize the feature.

"With inline installation, you can allow Chrome users who visit your web site to install your apps and extensions directly without requiring them to visit the Chrome Web Store. This creates a smoother experience for your users as it eliminates an extra step where potential users could drop off," Google explained.

To make a case for inline install, Google has some numbers. Evernote Clearly and Evernote Web Clipper get 15 percent and 25 percent of their new users (technically new installs) from their websites rather than the Web Store.

Angry Birds for Chrome saw a 10 percent jump in installs once Rovio added inline install to their website.

Implementing the feature is rather simple, all you need is a few lines of JavaScript added to your website. There's a more comprehensive guide here.

The Chrome Web Store is becoming more interesting as more and more complex apps and especially games are introduced. One very interesting development is support for Native Client apps which can be easily created from existing C/C++ apps.

Games in particular can benefit from this, desktop or even console games can be easily ported to the web, opening them up to a potential audience of over 200 million people.

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