Popular Chinese-made mobile browser UCWeb has beefed up its offerings for developers, launching an open platform which is now publicly available after having been in a testing stage for almost two months.
Developers have already been building for the UC WebApp Center, which has been available since September 2011. However, its UC+ Open Platform packages various elements together: it is made up of three separate parts focusing on HTML5 Web apps, plugins and application bookmarks.
The open platform supports plugin development by enabling bi-directional communication between UC Browser and Android’s system services, which allows the browser and add-on to share data. Users can then browse for plugins available on UC Browser’s plugin panel and add them to get a more personalized Internet browsing experience.
UCWeb says it had invited software developer QVOD to create a player plugin, which was introduced on UC Browser v9.1 as a pilot, and saw 300,000 downloads within a month of the launch.
The company says that the first browser loaded with plugins developed under its latest open platform framework will be publicly available “in days”, when the Chinese version of UC Browser for Android V9.2 is released, while the English version is expected to come “in weeks”.
The open platform also supports a feature called UC Application Bookmark, which allows partner websites to put up a QR code on UC Browser for users to scan the code and add the website to its bookmarks.
UCWeb notes that UC WebApp Center currently has 47 million monthly active users, more than 1,500 apps in 20 categories available, with total downloads exceeding 180 million – which would likely appeal to developers seeking a wide reach. Buoyed by strong adoption in India, UCWeb passed a new milestone of 400 million global users late last year.
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