Google has been working on Web Intents for Chrome for Â a while now. I had to do some reading to get the whole concept of Web Intents. I will include few pieces here to get you all started.
Ever used “Share” option in Android? Noticed how any new app you install show up in that list? How is it possible for all these applications to work together, or say interconnected in one way?
Answer is intents
Here is the deal. When you create an app, it can register its intention to be able to handle a request for a user. In other words, you are opting in to show up in that list for users to select from, when they hit ‘share” on something, or a similar action. Now, here is the official explanation
Users use many different services on the web to handle their day to day tasks, such as sharing images, editing documents and listening to music. They expect their applications to be connected and to work together seamlessly.
It is impossible for developers to anticipate every new service and to integrate with every existing external service that their users prefer, and thus they must choose to integrate with a few select APIs at great expense to the developer.
Web Intents solves this. Web Intents is a framework for client-side service discovery and inter-application communication. Services register their intention to be able to handle an action on the user’s behalf. Applications request to start an Action of a certain verb (share,Â edit,Â view,Â pickÂ etc.) and the system will find the appropriate Services for the user to use based on the user’s preference.
Google wants to bring this to Chrome or say browsers in general.
Consider an online photo storage site run by a cash-strapped startup: the developers donâ€™t have the resources to add image editing abilities to their app, but they feel the site wonâ€™t be a hit without it. The Web Intent system will make it easy for them to offer this with little effort.
See where are headed with this thing? It sounds like an interesting concept for users and will make Developers’ life better!
How To Enable Web Intents
Update: This is available on the latest Dev version.
As of now, this is available only on Chromium nightly builds. We will soon see this on Chrome Dev builds and then stable releases. Hopefully, we will have extensions and apps utilizing this feature by that time.
Select “”Allow Web Intents to enable me to connect my applications”” and that’s it!!
Testing – Examples
http://demos.webintents.org/Â has some examples you can play with. Twitter, Instapaper and URL Shortner and some more for you toÂ experiment.