Google is looking to expand the reach of their Chrome apps beyond desktop operating systems, targeting mobile devices in a new project. As discovered by The Next Web, Google has discovered a method for porting Chrome applications from desktop platforms to Android and iOS, and hopes to release a beta shortly.

Using the open source tool Apache Cordova as a compatibility layer of sorts, plugins can be created for mobile platforms that replace the functionality of the desktop Chrome app APIs, allowing access to the GPU and other mobile hardware. Chrome apps are developed using HTML, CSS and JavaScript, but offer more functionality than standard web apps.

Apparently these Chrome apps will be of high enough quality to publish them through the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store, providing an easy alternative to native applications for web-centric developers wanting an app in the mobile market.

The tools for porting Chrome apps to Android and iOS are still in development (the Android version seems closer to completion), but Google expects a beta version will be available in January. Prospective mobile Chrome app developers can check the GitHub repository for the project, where sample apps have already been posted.