Browser Apps May Finally Work: "Greasemonkey in the Cloud"

Adam DuVander
Mar. 23 2011, 04:57PM EDT

Kynetx has released an uber-extension for major browsers that lets developers build add-ons to websites using the Kynetx API. As part of its move to a central extension, Kynetx launched a marketplace to list and discover apps built on top of its platform.

We had a chance to chat with Brad Hintze and Sam Curren from Kynetx at SXSW last week, where we recorded the video below:

Like Greasemonkey before it, the Kynetx extension can augment pages to display additional information or remove clutter. For example, HoverMe uses the Qwerly API to provide additional social profiles for your Twitter contacts. A new Kynetx app, LinkedIn Like adds a Facebook Like button to company pages on LinkedIn.

Kynetx is bringing mashups to the sites where the information will be most useful. And it has built extensions for Firefox, Safari, Chrome and Internet Explorer. Though, in a bit of bad timing, the extension currently does not support Firefox 4, which came out of beta yesterday.

The Kynetx platform itself isn't new, but the extension helps streamline the process of creating browser applications. Previously developers had to package their extensions separately, rather than letting users instal via Kynetx. And with Greasemonkey, the similar technology only available for Firefox, end users often have to copy-paste an app's code, something that reserves it for mostly power users. Kynetx could provide browser applications for everyone, with the added benefit that when developers make changes those are rolled out to their users automatically.

If Kynetx can get traction amongst both developers and users, developers can give those users a powerful browsing experience. We may finally have browser applications that really work, available to all.

Adam DuVander -- Adam heads developer relations at Orchestrate, a database-as-a-service company. He's spent many years analyzing APIs and developer tools. Previously he worked at SendGrid, edited ProgrammableWeb and wrote for Wired and Webmonkey. Adam is also the author of mapping API cookbook Map Scripting 101.

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