Google Chrome’s Next Big Feature – Web Intents
Google has been pushing the boundary of what a web browser is and what it can do ever since they released its Chrome browser. They introduced the minimalistic interface for the browsers which are a long way away from the toolbar filled browsers at the time. It caught on and almost all the major browsers have adopted a similar interface. Recently they also announced that Chrome will be getting WebRT, which will make it very easy to build web apps for enable real-time Skype like communication.
Today Google has announced another major new feature that they are planning to bring to Chrome. The new feature, called Web Intents, will allow web apps to share information with each other without the need for the web apps to actually know the other web apps. This is kind of like the Intent in the Android operating system.
If you have used Android, you are probably aware of the concept of Intent. When you take a photo from your Android phone and tap on "Share", Android shows you a list of apps that you can use to share your photo. That is the concept of intent - applications communication with each other, without knowing each other, through generic hooks.
Google's plan for Web Intent is similar to that on Android - the only difference being that it is web specific. This is what James Hawkins, Software Engineer at Google, wrote about Web Intents:
This web platform API will provide the same benefits of Android Intents, but better suited for web applications. When designing the system, we have first and foremost been interested in creating a simple, easy-to-use API. With Web Intents, you will be able to connect your web app to a service with as little as two lines of code! Chrome will perform the heavy lifting for you.
Google is not the only one working on Web Intents. Mozilla is also working with Google on this project. So, we expect to see this feature in Firefox as well.