Is A Web Browser A Reasonable Software Requirement

August 1, 2013

I was listening to a presentation by @aiwdesign the other day when she said something that caught me off guard. She said:

If you want to run this application, all you need to do is install Chrome.

At first, my reaction was something like “What!? You have an app that doesn’t work on Firefox and IE!?”

But then it occurred to me that maybe this isn’t so ridiculous.


Typical Software Requirements

Often times, when downloading client applications you’ll have to download an executable, run an installer and then open it. Sound familiar? It’s the exact same process you’ll need to install Chrome on virtually any computer.

 Think of Chrome as your application

I think this just requires a shift in perspective. We typically think of web applications as needing to be flexible enough to run on so many different pieces of software. Why not just have a disclaimer that the app your building isn’t so much a website as an application that has Chrome as a dependency.

Not For Everyone

Obviously, you don’t want to build a typical web application and just disallow a large percentage of potential users for having a different browser preference than you.

Instead I’m suggesting that you can build replacements for client-side applications using web technologies and just require your user’s to install Chrome.