Enable Web Intents on Chrome

Google has been working on Web Intents for Chrome for  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, edit, view, pick 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 don’t have the resources to add image editing abilities to their app, but they feel the site won’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.

Visit chrome://chrome/settings.
Select “”Allow Web Intents to enable me to connect my applications”” and that’s it!!

Testing – Examples

http://demos.webintents.org/ has some examples you can play with. Twitter, Instapaper and URL Shortner and some more for you to experiment.

In Category: Google Chrome


Dinsan made Google Chrome his default browser within hours of its release. He fell in love with Chromebooks from the day he first touched one and is currently obsessed with Chromecasts.

Show 5 Comments
  • Dain Binder 24/02/2012, 1:13 am

    This is very interesting and I can certainly see the benefit. It is almost like the apps that append to the right click menu for sharing and such.

    Where can I pick up the nightly builds? I have the Dev, but do not see a place to get the nightly builds. Thanks!

  • earls 24/02/2012, 5:31 am

    I’ve read the description for this 20 times now and really don’t get it – are these like extensions for the web? “Open with”?

    • Sebastian 02/04/2012, 6:31 pm

      As I understand it, that is exactly how they would function and so, I can see it reducing the need to have many extensions installed to carry out the same actions—and sparing some developers the added task to write them.

  • darcy 04/11/2012, 12:37 am

    hello question regarding the “enable web intent” for chrome users

    is this safe? does it mean that say im trying to get into face book , and the browser is not allowing me to get into that website because i do not have some extension or driver that i need to load that type of website or ect.

    are you saying that this “enable web intent” will then automatically advise me to down load the missing driver, or the correct item that i have selected incorrectly in my computer set up, so that i can load that website?

    can you explain a little more? and is it for a local one person computer? or is this more for a business computer set up??

    thank you so much , sincerely darcy

    *** i have just about had it im just so confused on what needs to be added on or what drivers you need for which browsers, i cant take it anymore.. i use internet explorer 9 (windows 7 – 64 bit) and i use chrome, and maxthon.
    and ive downloaded on each the newest version of , java, shockwave, flash, adobe reader.. and some of my browsers still will not work.. i dont think i need all of those drivers on some of the browsers.
    ****** i wish there was a trouble shooter or pc down load system you could use to allocate all the drivers you need and set up the browsers correctly = for you and then they would just run like they should with no problems…

    sincerely soooo confused..