UC Browser, the China-made mobile browser that has 400 million users around the world, is getting a new worldwide open platform that will focus on HTML5 web apps, plugins, and other third-party features.
UC Browser is now ready to work with developers for the open platform. The web apps, plugins, and other goodies will appear for users of the popular browser app a bit later when UC Browser for Android gets bumped up to v9.2.
This open platform has been running in China, just for Chinese developers, for a few months already. These are the three categories that global developers can build for:
- UC webapp center – This will be a sort of app store within UC Browser where users can add HTML5 web apps. Since they’re just glorified bookmarks, there’s no downloading or installing involved. Developers can make use of this for their sites or games. The company behind this browser, UCWeb, claims that its existing UC webapp center for China (pictured above) is the country’s most popular web app store with 47 million monthly active users browsing through 1,500 web apps.
- UC plugin platform – We’re probably all familiar with things like Chrome extensions and Firefox add-ons, and that’s what users of UC Browser will get soon as well (pictured below in the Chinese version). Other mobile browsers for Android do this already, such as Japan-made Sleipnir and the Sino-US Dolphin Browser.
- UC application bookmark platform – This one is aimed at potential content partners, as it involves a site putting up a special QR code that UC Browser users can scan to quickly add that site to their mobile bookmarks.
UCWeb will outline all these at a conference in Beijing this afternoon. The startup’s president, Xiaopeng He, will encourage developers to jump onto an “open and winning platform for all parties” that stands in contrast to the big revenue cuts taken by Apple, Google, Microsoft, et al, for their native app distribution.
(Editing by Willis Wee)