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In-app payments coming for Chrome Packaged Apps

Chrome Packaged Apps are about to receive support for in-app purchasing, according to a Google evangelist.

"Chrome is about to support in-app payments for Chrome Packaged Apps, thanks to the newly embeddable Chrome Wallet app," wrote Francois Beaufort on Tuesday.

Developers wishing to try out the Wallet feature need to run Chrome Canary and install some sample files.

Chrome Canary
Since in-app purchases are important to developers who want to make a living from their programming efforts, this latest development could encourage more app authors to create packaged apps for Google's web browser.

"One of the key motivations behind an apps store is to provide opportunities for [Independent Software Vendors] and create an ecosystem for them to make money," IDC analyst Al Hilwa told PCWorld.

"App stores create revenue streams for the app store owner and in the case of a platform owner like Google, it lets them create an ecosystem for that type of app," Hilwa said.

What's different about Google Packaged Apps?

Google Packaged Apps are written in HTML5, JavaScript, and Cascading Style Sheets and are designed to look and behave more like native computer apps than typical web apps.

The apps can be run offline, to take advantage of Google's synchronization architecture and call APIs to access devices plugged into the machine the apps run on.

Earlier this month, Google announced that users of the Chrome 28 beta, which hasn't cleared the development channel yet, could locate packaged apps in a special section of the Chrome Web Store, where software can be downloaded for Google's Chrome operating system and its Chrome browser.

"It's a standardized way of delivering higher-function apps in a browser model," Hilwa said. "The apps provide APIs for accessing device capabilities, which is something that's been lacking in web applications for browsers."

"This brings web-app capabilities closer to the level of what some native platforms offer," he added.

Pay via Gmail

The addition of in-app purchasing comes on the heels of Google's announcement two weeks ago of a payments API for its Chrome browser that allows for the transfer of money as a Gmail attachment.

The API allows Google Wallet users to click on a dollar icon, enter a transfer amount, and whoosh the payment off via Gmail.

People receiving payments don't have to have a Gmail account, but they do need to have a Google Wallet account.

Googe Wallet

Google Wallet users who link their wallets to their bank accounts or have a cash balance in their Wallets can transfer money for free.

Credit cards can also be used for payments through the system, but you need to pay a flat fee for that. It's 2.9 percent of the transaction amount or a minimum of 30 cents per transaction.

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