Friday, 6 September 2013

Google launches new breed of out-of-the-browser Chrome Apps

To celebrate Chrome's fifth birthday in style, Google has announced “a new kind of Chrome App”.  The Internet giant has released a host of new applications for Windows and Chromebook that will let you enjoy the experience of apps on Chrome, without it feeling like a glorified bookmark.

Chrome has had web applications since 2010 and even has a dedicated store using which you can download these. However, they’ve never really been full-fledged applications, needing Internet connectivity and being generally limited in its abilities. Google is planning to change it all.

With these new Chrome Apps, Google is trying to push its browser into the limelight as an app platform that will be able to challenge the likes of Windows and Mac OS X. Google is now providing a launcher for Chrome Apps, something that you will be able to access right from the desktop.

You will now be able to keep working and playing with these Apps even when you don’t have Internet connectivity. The Apps will use no tabs, buttons or text boxes so that you’re not distracted from the task at hand. Once you use the launcher to access these applications, like every other software on your PC, this one will open up in the full-screen mode and you’ll never notice the difference.

All your apps will be synced automatically to your desktop and will also send you notifications on the desktop, including reminders and updates. You will even be able to interact with these notifications right from the pop-up. Chrome Apps will let you access your documents, photos and videos saved on Google Drive or other web services. You will also be able to access your connected devices, including Bluetooth, USB devices as well as digital cameras. If you’re logged into Chrome on any other device, your apps will not only be synced to this new machine but will also keep updating them.

When you now head on to the Chrome Web Store, you will find an all new section called “For Your Desktop” that has a neat collection of applications that will run both on and outside your browsers. Of course, apps from Google’s own stable like Drive and Keep have already been made available in the store. There are other apps that could help you with productivity like Wunderlist,, and Pocket. There are games like Cracking Sand that will let you connect your Xbox controller via USB to play it.

You will be able to access these applications right away if you’re on Windows or Chromebook. However, if you’re on Mac or Linux, you’ll just have to wait it out till Google launches these apps for you “soon”.

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