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февруари 19, 2014

Is Google intentionally making their products only for Chrome Browser?

Here is the deal: Google's web applications are the best of breed, exemplary model for modern, high efficiency, stable, constantly updated, usable pieces of software available today. Without their web apps the Chrome OS would be almost useless.

However I have notices a tendency in the recent development of their products that I do not like at all!

The tendency to lock features to their own browser. Many examples exists across many of their products: offline support (no, no, do not tell me it is because APIs are missing in other browsers, packaged apps are indeed possible only in Chrome, but AppCache and IndexedDB are available on all browsers!), features (like developing image editing feature as NaCl plugin instead of a web application might have been easier, but is surely NOT impossible to be done the other way around especially with the wide support for workers) and other.

I can freely assume that this is a business strategy (which is kind of counter intuitive for a company that has a slogan of 'do no evil'), but what is worse for the web platform as a whole is the fact that instead of advancing the open web features they advance locked in features that promote ease of use for the developers, but lack availability on anything else but their own browser. Many of the packaged applications (maybe not all of them of course) can very happily exist as offline applications with web standard technologies, but instead the developers of those applications decided to go with Chrome's closed ecosystem.

It is hard to promote the standards use in place of the ease of use, which has something to tell to the standard bodies, but this is a whole different story. What is more important is why is Google doing this? It is one thing to provide the best services and best products and willing to profit from that, but is completely different to lock in users, encouraging mono-culture on the user end.

I love Google's web products, I truly believe that they are the best I can use right now, but this is not the case with the Chrome browser. However I feel like I am missing something when I am using the web apps when I do so from another browser. Especially features it has been shown to be working and working well with standard and widely available web technology only (I am talking about the image editing features in G+ in this case). Also promoting a new "offline" capability in Google Sheets without mentioning that it only works in Chrome is kind of hypocritical. So basically it says: "We are releasing new and exciting features, but only for the users of Chrome, the others can suck it". 

Does remind me of another browser and another technological epoch....