web intents were a Google attempt to bring the features/interaction of Android Intents from the Android Application SDK to the web. They were prototyped in Chrome and then removed in early 2013.
Web intents were discussed at three IndieWebCamp 2011 sessions:
- Standardizing Web Intents
- Web Intents User Experience
- Web Intents Format Brainstorm and Firefox plugin
Those attending and participating in related IndieWebCamp sessions realized after having to explain and attempt to speak about them, that "web intents" as a term/phrase was too confusing to effectively do user centered research and design. After some brainstorming about what problems were actually being solved, web actions was suggested as a user-centered reframing for common use cases.
Early feedback (2011-2012) was given to folks at Google who worked on web intents that they needed to prioritize UI/UX first, and only after they'd figured that out, attempt any kind of standardizing of protocols/formats. This feedback was largely ignored.
Google's experimental Chrome implementation of web intents had several UI problems which caused them to remove their implementation.