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Google loves the mobile web so much it put the Chrome team under its search boss

Let Google count the ways.

Google Holds Press Event Announcing New Products Justin Sullivan / Getty

It's no surprise that Google adores the mobile web.

And it's no surprise why: Google is worried about the rush of attention to mobile apps — particularly to the time-sucking apps owned by Facebook.

To address that, Google is pushing an agenda to give mobile websites app-like qualities. It also recently shifted the Chrome browser division, responsible for its mobile web products, under John Giannandrea, the SVP in charge of search — Google's cornerstone — Recode has learned.

At its I/O developer conference this week, Google devoted more sessions to the mobile web than any other subject, evangelizing two products to make web pages faster and more agile.

There's AMP, Google's rapid-loading initiative for publishers (and eventually, Google hopes, all websites). And there's its affiliate, a project called Progressive Web Apps, designed to convince developers to build websites stripped of what Google deems extraneous code.

It first tested the latter project in November with Indian e-commerce site Flipkart. Now Google is pushing it wider.

"We’ve really scaled out our outreach. Everyone is seeing success," Rahul Roy-Chowdhury, the VP for Chrome, told Recode. "Six months, I would have said, ‘Yeah, we’re getting there. Things are looking good. I’m not quite sure I’m ready to open the floodgates.’ Now I’m completely sure."

Convincing developers to pour resources into the mobile web is critical for Google. Its archnemesis, Apple, is driving toward a world where iPhone users can move from app to app — without touching the web, Google's moneymaking domain.

At I/O, Google also introduced a new software tool that enables websites to upload one-touch consumer payments more speedily. "It lets you plumb payment instruments on the device into JavaScript so websites can access them," Roy-Chowdhury said.

It's not out yet, in part because Google is waiting for the consortium of web companies to back it. That way, the feature would function not just on Google's Chrome browser but on others, including the iPhone default, Safari.

Roy-Chowdhury was confident that approval would come. "By the end of this year, it will be widely available," he said.

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