updated 08:00 pm EDT, Thu August 4, 2011
Google adds Web Intents with Mozilla's help
Google and Mozilla have teamed together on a proposed API to bring an aspect of Android to web apps. Web Intents, like those on the phone, would let a web app signal what it wants to do on a basic level, such as editing or sharing content, and link it to any relevant service without having to either create the service or implement the hooks on a case by case basis. Web apps would just need a handful of code to achieve much more complicated tasks that could pass between sites.
A photo hosting site could pass an image on to an editor to get back the completed image, as an example. Many sites could also let users post to Twitter or another social network.
The initial feature set is limited. As a web feature, it should extend over time to include more actions. Developers would get help through a central browsing page where they could 'shop' intents and even add their own.
Chrome and Chromium users get intents now through a code flag. Mozilla hasn't said how soon Firefox will recognize the intents. Apple and Microsoft are also currently silent on the concept but have usually been supportive of genuinely common web standards.