Cover illustration by Pixden
Google have recently released the latest stable version of Chrome and one of the biggest additions is the introduction of web intents.
What Exactly are Web Intents?
Everyday on the web users are sharing images, editing documents and listening to music. Websites are now more connected with each other than ever before. The way we connect one site to another is usually through API’s. The problem with this though is that it is a time consuming process to have to incorporate each web sites different apis and keep up with the latest social platform or anticipate the latest service.
Web intents sets in to solve this problem.
Google and Mozilla are the guys behind web intents and describe it as:
Developers who build client apps will be able to easily include functionality from other web services (e.g., photo editing).
Developers creating those services will no longer need to invest time and resources to negotiate and build hardcoded integrations – they can just focus on offering a great quality product with the integration facilitated by the API.
How do I use Web Intents
It can be setup in a similar way to the mailto: link in emails
<intent action="http://webintents.org/share" type="image/*" href="share.html" disposition="window|inline"/>
Lets break this down
Required. A verb describing the action to be performed
Optional. Types are a filter. The infered value is “*” when undefined.
Optional. If specified, it will point to the action that is loaded when the user chooses the service. If undefined, use the current page.
Optional. If specified, it will be either “window” or “inline”. If not specified “window” will be the default. When “inline” is provided the service page will be opened in the same context as the picker. A value of “window” will open the service in a new context.
The current mechanism for intent registration in Chrome is via manifest.
var intent = new Intent("http://webintents.org/share", "text/uri-list", "http://news.bbc.co.uk"); window.navigator.startActivity(intent);
So far the proposal has gathered a collection of intents that they believe the majority of applications will us. They are:
What do you think about web intents? Do you think this proposal is a good one? Should it be implemented as a standard? Let me know your thoughts.