topeka chrome for android

Material Design isn’t just about Android apps – Google wants developers to use it to create web apps, as well as Chrome apps for Android.

Chrome apps for Android are web apps that are packaged to run on Android and look and feel like native apps. Using an Apache Cordova-based toolkit, developers can ‘wrap’ apps made with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript in a native application shell. Using this technique, web apps can work as if they are standard Android or iOS apps and can be distributed through the Play Store and Apple’s App Store.

Chrome apps are still limited, but Google is moving to enhance their functionality, with new features added including support for Chrome APIs for identity, Google Cloud Messaging (GCM) support, and rich notifications.

To show off what can be achieved with Chrome apps, Google launched in the Play Store an app made with the Polymer framework, which it first demoed at Google I/O in June.

Called Topeka, this Chrome app is a fun little trivia game featuring Material Design, complete with floating action buttons, smooth animations, and Paper and Ink interactions.

While the occasional lag gives away that this is a web app, rather than a native application, Topeka is still an impressive piece of work. At the same time, it’s a good opportunity to play with a Material app, until the arrival of native apps along with Android L, probably next month.

Check out Topeka in the Play Store and let us know what you think.