Review of Google Chrome Desktop Apps: Google’s Plan of Replacing Legacy Computer Apps

Chrome is the youngest and fastest growing browser in the crowded category of Web browser. This is pretty interesting when compared to stalwarts like Internet Explorer and Firefox, which are seeing their usage statistics dwindling. The reason could be attributed to Chrome’s minimalistic look and its robustness coupled with the availability of countless apps on chrome Web store. Another key point to note that is chrome is continually evolving with new features and yet again we get a new feature why is capable of changing one thinks and use a Web browser. The newest feature bridges the gap between browser and computer software, since it’s a Web app which works like a desktop software. Aptly called as ‘For Your Desktop Apps’.

Difference between Chrome Apps and Desktop Apps

1) Independent of Chrome- Unlike web apps which needs Chrome browser to run, these apps can be opened even when the browser is closed.

2) Offline capability-This is one of the most important aspects of these apps, as after initial setup/ login, users don’t necessarily need connected to internet to use the app. However, it also depends upon the app for example- A weather app might work offline, but will display current weather only when the internet is running or an app might work offline well, but for accessing new data, it will require internet.

3) Tight integration with PC- Unlike web apps which felt like an isolated concept in browser only, the desktop apps feels like a normal app since they can access the local drive natively. Similar they can also detect whenever a pen-drive, memory card or even digital camera is attached to the computer.

4) Look and feel- These apps seem similar to a normal computer app, unlike Web apps which opened in a browser. Moreover, since the app opened is in a new window, users mind will not be deviated towards other tabs.

5) Notifications- These apps are able to give proper notification as soon as you receive it. Thus users can get reminders, updates and even take action directly from the notification.

Chrome Apps Launcher
The new Chrome app launcher on Desktop.

How to get Chrome Desktop Apps

Chrome Web Store has a dedicated section of apps under the For Your Desktop Collection. Currently, the collection has handful of apps, but they truly show what these apps are capable of doing and over the time, we will surely see more number of apps. Once installed, the apps can be accessed from the Chrome App Launcher created in the Windows Task Bar.

Chrome App Launcher Screenshot
Screenshot of Chrome App Launcher.

Notable apps

As mentioned earlier, that the app list will continue growing, here are few apps which caught our eye- Pocket, Wunderlist, 500px, Pixlr, etc. You can also enjoy games such as Spelunky and Cracking Sands Racing.