Experimental Web Intents API Lands in Chrome 19
The API is enabled by default in the stable version of the browser
Web Intents is a very interesting piece of technology that will allow web apps to work with each other seamlessly without any specific integration. The Web Intents API, which is still experimental, enables one app to "outsource" some functionality, say photo editing, to another app that can handle it without the developer ever knowing anything about this other app.The latest Chrome stable update, that would be Chrome 19 which has just landed, comes with support enabled by default for the experimental Web Intents API.
"This prototype version of Web Intents makes it easier for developers to try out the API and experience its benefits first hand," Google's James Hawkins, a software engineer, wrote.
"Developers who build client apps will be able to easily include functionality from other web services (e.g., photo editing)," he explained.
"Developers creating those services will no longer need to invest time and resources to negotiate and build hardcoded integrations - they can just focus on offering a great quality product with the integration facilitated by the API," he added.
"In addition, this implementation of Web Intents can help the design discussions in the W3C web intents open standards list," he said.
Web Intents has been in development for a while now, but it's far from complete. In fact, it may change in ways that break current apps built on top of it, a risk developers wanting to experiment with the API have to take. As such, obviously, the API is not intended for production-ready apps.
But at the very least, developers can now test their apps in the wild and have a great deal of their users be able to support them.
In the meantime, those involved in the standardization of the Web Intents API, Google, Mozilla and others, can learn from the real-life lessons and improve the API until it's ready for wide adoption.