Chrome 31 beta adds easier web payments, full-screen web apps in Android

Chrome 31 aims to bring portable native code to the desktop browser and a more native app experience for web apps on Android.

Chrome payment interface
Chrome payment interface. Image: Google

Google released the beta of Chrome 31 on Thursday, bringing new application shortcuts to Android, faster filling in of payment data on forms, and portable native code in the desktop version of the browser.

The new applications shortcuts feature for Chrome beta on Android lets users add website shortcuts to their Android homescreen.

It offers developers an option to improve the web app experience on Android, bringing it closer to the native app experience. Sites that have added the mobile-web-app-capable meta tag will launch in a full-screen window without the usual browser trapping such as buttons, menus and the Omnibox.

Google has also improved payment data form-filling for Chrome on Android, Windows and Chrome OS to improve chances that consumers actually spend when presented with an option to purchase on websites.

Chrome 31 introduces the requestAutocomplete specification. Sites with it enabled use payment data stored in the browser and offers an extra interface within the browser to present the data. A Mac version will be available in a future release, according to Google.

Desktop versions of Chrome are being treated with Portable Native Client (PNaCI), building upon Native Client, which allowed web apps to run at 'near-native' speeds, though it was restricted to apps and extensions installed via the Chrome Web Store.

PNaCI, on the other hand, lets developers build 'fully-portable executables' to run PNaCI applications without browsers plugins or the application installed locally.

The release of the Chrome 31 beta follows just days after the stable release of Chrome 30 .

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