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Google Chrome set to bring native web sharing capabilities to Windows 10

As per some new developments spotted by Techtsp, Google Chrome users will soon be able to experience Android-like native web sharing experience on Windows 10 and ChromeOS devices. Google Chrome’s Web Share API integration into Windows 10 and ChromeOS will help the company bridge the native app gap to a significant extent.

At the time of writing this report, the Web Share API is not widely supported on all modern web browsers. According to this compatibility chart, the Web Share API is only supported on a handful of browsers including Chrome for Android. But we have the Web Share API functions working for us on Edge for Android as well. Both Chrome and Edge are powered by Chromium.

While web-share permission policy is in development, the Web Share API integration into Chrome for Windows 10 and ChromeOS should be available pretty soon:

“Web Share integrates with the operating system sharing system. It is currently only supported on Android. Support for Chrome OS and Windows is expected in Q3 or Q4, 2020,” Google Chrome explains.

How does the Web Share API benefit Windows 10 users?

Web apps on the desktop including progressive web apps (PWAs) will benefit from Web Share API, further allowing Windows 10 users to share links to other apps just like any other native app. Simply put, the Web Share API will provide websites and web apps with native sharing capabilities. As a result, websites can share links, text, and files to other apps installed on your Windows 10 PC, similar to Android.

Putting the Web Share API on Windows 10 to test

Microsoft’s new Chromium-based Edge for Windows 10 already supports the Web Share API. During our test, we found that the Web Share API is not only compatible with the new Chromium-based Edge web browser (both mobile and PC) but it is also functional in Windows 10.

Considering that the website you want to share the content from uses the Web Share API, Windows 10’s native share menu will pop-up upon clicking on the Share button. This Windows 10 pop-up will allow users to share website URL, title, text, and files with their contacts, or by using the Nearby Sharing in Windows 10 that uses Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

During our test, the Windows 10 share pop-up menu allowed us to copy the URL of the web page and share website data to OneNote for Windows 10, Your Phone app, and the default Mail app. It also provides Windows 10 users with a link at the bottom to download and install more apps via Microsoft Store.

Since our test was successful on Edge, the web page generated the following message:

“Successfully sent share”

But when we performed similar tests on the latest version of Google Chrome Canary and Mozilla Firefox Nightly, we encountered the following error message:

“Error: You need to use a browser that supports this draft proposal.”

“Error: Unsupported feature: navigator.share()”

In both cases, the demo website using the Web Share API contained the following message describing the compatibility of the API in question:

“This is a test page for the Web Share API - Level 2, demonstrating file sharing. It only works in browsers that have implemented the draft proposal. At the time of writing, this works with: Google Chrome for Android 75 or higher.”

For now, all we know is that the Web Share API capabilities in Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge for Windows 10 are actively under development and these capabilities will soon bring Android-like native web sharing experience Microsoft's desktop operating system.

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