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First Chrome Porn App Store Promises Privacy

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 7 comments

VHS, DVD, Internet video — pornography is usually on the cutting edge of technology, and  Web browsers are no exception. MiKandi, the company that brought Android its first (and still only) porn app store, has now done the same for Google Chrome with Mint List. Presumably, you don't even have to worry about spam or anyone tracking what you watch.

Porn is not exactly difficult to find online, but Mint List's goal is not to be an aggregator. Rather, MiKandi wants to present a sleek, curated, spam-free experience. Mint List hosts a number of videos as well as apps and extensions for the Chrome browser. 

Because apps downloaded through Mint List can run independently of Chrome, it's also much easier to keep your browsing habits free from prying eyes. What you do through Mint List won't be recorded in Chrome's browser history. 

MORE: 10 Best New Chrome Apps

Users interested in Google Glass may remember that MiKandi ran afoul of Google's terms of service a few months back with a controversial Glass app that displayed nude pictures on the device. Although Google allows apps for the 18-and-over crowd to be sold through third-party app stores or side-loaded, it does not allow them in official Google Play stores, be they for Android, Chrome or Glass. 

Mint List is still in beta, meaning that content is fairly limited. You'll be able to find themes (skins that change Chrome's visuals), apps and extensions (small browser modifications, similar to ones that display maps when you click on an address), but not too many of them. It's also buggy on installation, Jen McEwen, MiKandi's co-founder, acknowledged. She said that most installation bugs should be ironed out in the near future.

"Right now, mainly the app redirects to websites," McEwen told Tom's Guide. "We're the first  [third-party Chrome] app store, so we're waiting for the content. It's a chicken-or-the-egg scenario. We should see more content rolling in the next few weeks." 

New Web tech

Mint List's primary focus is video, and will likely stay that way. MiKandi has been eager to take advantage of a new Chrome update, which allows users to run what are known as HTML5 apps without having to open Chrome, or even go online.

For the nonprogrammers out there, HTML5 is the fifth iteration of the HTML Web programming language. The system has convenient support for video and animation, among other things, and can run on almost any modern Web-enabled system, including computers, tablets and smartphones.

"If you're running it offline, you're saving yourself from these pop-unders [ads] from websites," McEwen said. "Everything we picked ourselves. We hand-picked it [if] we're fans of the company. We avoid putting [spam] apps in." 

To clarify, HTML5 does not block obtrusive ads or tracking. However, porn sites are often disreputable, and slam users with tons of malware-ridden advertisements and spam. Because MiKandi is curating Mint List, it is purposely keeping out apps that rely on obnoxious pop-ups or attempts to spread malware.

In terms of keeping user browsing private, Mint List can run apps outside of Chrome, meaning that they will not appear in Chrome's history. Say, for example, you play a video in a Mint List app. Chrome will not know that you watched any video on that app, which is useful if you would rather not share your online activities with your housemates or online snoops, such as cybercriminals or government agencies. 

MORE: 10 Great Google Features You're Not Using

"Adults and adult companies are being shut out of a lot of services and tech," McEwen said. "We feel that's not right. We're always building environments for adults to access information to get the content they want to get, without restriction or judgment." 

In addition to providing a safe interface for online porn-seekers, Mint List may herald things to come in terms of HTML5-enabled apps. McEwen explained that big companies, including Google and Samsung, are doing their best to integrate HTML5 into mobile operating systems and programs.

An HTML5 app does not offer the same kind of highly directed, polished experience as a native Android or iOS app, McEwen explained, but it does offer a much lower barrier to entry for programmers. If you can program HTML, you already have the basis for programming HTML5.

If HTML5 does indeed represent the future of Web- and browser-based apps, it seems fitting that porn providers are among its earliest adopters. After all, as the song from the Broadway play "Avenue Q" goes, "the Internet is for porn."

Follow Marshall Honorof @marshallhonorof. Follow us @tomsguide, on Facebook and on Google+.

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  • 0 Hide
    x2ruff4u , October 18, 2013 4:38 AM
    Now we just need a app that replaces clothes
  • -1 Hide
    x2ruff4u , October 18, 2013 4:55 AM
    Now we just need a app that replaces clothes
  • Display all 7 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    cats_Paw , October 18, 2013 5:59 AM
    Id take a porn watcher over a heart crusher any day of the week, thank you very much.
  • 3 Hide
    MajinCry , October 18, 2013 6:26 AM
    Because sex is bad? Oh please.

    Humans are pretty much the naked molerats of the apes. And let's not forget that we share around 99% of our DNA with the Bonobo.

    Anyway, I don't see why someone would buy porn. Ya just gotta look in the right places.
  • 0 Hide
    msCurvy , October 18, 2013 2:59 PM
    really? i find these better anyway: http://appmobiworld.com/best-porn-apps-for-all-devices/
  • 0 Hide
    agnickolov , October 18, 2013 7:37 PM
    For the non-programmers out there, HTML5 is the first programming language in the HTML family. Prior to that HTML was a document layout language.
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