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Earlier this week on May 15, one of the most anticipated developer conferences in the world was held. We’re referring to the 2024 iteration of Google I/O, the tech giant’s biggest developer conference.

During this conference, many exciting things were announced, particularly with regards to developments in the AI sector.

But we want to talk about one particular announcement, made during the “What’s new in ChromeOS” showcase, which was regarding something called PWA, also known as Progressive Web Apps.

Progressive Web Apps are essentially apps built using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript code that’s hosted on web servers and that runs in web browser engines. They offer a seamless, near-native app experience, allowing users have access to robust functionalities directly from web browsers.

Well, ChromeOS has now introduced a “Add to Chromebook” badge that makes it more seamless than ever for users to install PWAs to their Chromebooks.

You can think of it as a kind of Photoshop, hosting a diverse range of photo editing tools with a freemium model.

“In the past, folks could only install your PWA if they were already on it inside a browser tab. This restriction is now gone for PWAs on ChromeOS,” speaker Sam Richard said during the presentation.

Now, people can install PWAs from anywhere, from an app listing, a marketing page, a landing page, and more.

When explaining this new feature, the team at Google had chosen to highlight one app in particular—Pixlr.

Who is Pixlr?

Pixlr is an AI-powered digital photo editing and content creation startup that’s all for democratising design and innovation.

With 10 million monthly active users, it claims to be one of the world’s most popular design tools.

The startup is now based in Malaysia, with 90% of its staff here, and is headed by Malaysian CEO Warren Leow. It was bought from Autodesk by the Inmagine Group in 2016.

Pixlr was highlighted as one of only 18 “Add to Chrome” badge partners, and the only Southeast Asian one, which is certainly a cause for celebration.

On top of this, Pixlr also announced that it has collaborated with the Ministry of Education to provide a free AI course worth RM1,000,000 to 500 teachers in conjunction with Teachers’ Day Celebration 2024.

According to a press release, this initiative trains teachers, initiates AI programmes in schools, and enhances teaching practices with AI tools, streamlining routines and improving student learning experiences.

Putting Malaysia on the map

It’s not often that we get to see a Malaysian-owned business being featured on a global platform such as Google I/O.

Pixlr’s inclusion as a highlighted PWA at Google I/O 2024 goes to show its dedication to modern web technologies.

“Being featured at Google I/O 2024 is a significant milestone for Pixlr to highlight that companies from Malaysia can reach a global audience,” Warren, the CEO, said.

He told Vulcan Post that Google HQ got in touch with the Pixlr team months ago to prepare for the conference. At the time, they were under embargo and could not divulge the plans, as they always change.

Stephanie Sitt, the chairman and founder of Pixlr added, “This recognition highlights our commitment to delivering top-tier editing tools and our dedication to leveraging the latest web technologies to enhance user experiences.”

Going forward, Pixlr stated that the team is committed to staying at the forefront of technological advancements.

For instance, it will continue working on ongoing enhancements in ChromeOS and support for new capabilities. This will ensure that the Malaysian-owned business will continue to evolve, providing cutting-edge features to users everywhere.

In any case, being showcased on the global stage isn’t just a win for Pixlr, but for our ecosystem as well.

“I hope this means more founders and startups can realise that they can target the global markets being based out of SEA and Malaysia,” Warren said about the occasion. “KL is a great place to operate a startup and Pixlr is a good example that fits into the KL20 narrative.”

  • Learn more about Pixlr here.
  • Read other articles we’ve written about Malaysia startups here.

Featured Image Credit: Vulcan Post / Google

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© 2021 GRVTY Media Pte. Ltd.
(UEN 201431998C.)

Vulcan Post aims to be the knowledge hub of Singapore and Malaysia.

© 2021 GRVTY Media Pte. Ltd.
(UEN 201431998C.)