Chrome takes its apps to the desktop

Chrome takes its apps to the desktop

Summary: After five years of Google's Chrome browser, the search giant is hoping to take Chrome apps to the desktop.


Google has revamped the functionality of its Chrome apps, with the ability to launch the apps from a Windows desktop heading the update.

The new apps will also be able to work offline, interact with USB and Bluetooth devices, and be automatically updated.

In the announcement blog post, Erik Kay, engineering director and Chrome app-ologist, said that the new apps for desktop would be available on Windows systems first, with Mac and Linux support in the pipeline.

When a desktop Chrome app is installed, an app launcher will appear in the Windows toolbar to launch the apps.

Chrome apps that have desktop support are available from the "For your desktop" collection in the Chrome Web Store.

Topics: Software Development, Google, Web development


Chris started his journalistic adventure in 2006 as the Editor of Builder AU after originally joining CBS as a programmer. After a Canadian sojourn, he returned in 2011 as the Editor of TechRepublic Australia, and is now the Australian Editor of ZDNet.

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  • So will chrome like gmail scan everything?

    So will chrome like gmail scan everything you do on Internet? Oh wait, Google already do that.
    • stop.

      this has nothing to do with the story.
      • Half-butted reinvention of Java wheel

        If I want desktop apps I already have Java apps capable of doing just that on not just Windows but other platform so why would I look forward to these $croogle Apps that serve as NSA spying front on to my machine?

        No, thanks.
        • This allows native speed legacy C, C++, C# and fast JS compatible code...

 opposed the the slow half assed Java code which requires all legacy code and libraries to be completely rewritten in Java code.
  • Nice but opens another door for malicious sw

    Hopefully Google is aware of that problem and takes appropriate measurements.
    • Not Even Close!

      First of all Java VM can only run one instance at a time, unlike Dalvik VM. Secondly Google pioneered sandboxed web browsing off the OS. This is the main reason there is no system access from the browser side in the first place for Chrome OS and including their now industry leading browser! ......and in case you don't understand what a sandbox is, it's an isolated container and can't see anything the underlying system is doing. Yet this also means the System can't see what you're doing on the web either and therefore attacks from within or out simply can't happen in Chrome Browser!
  • Android Redux

    Writing an Operating System that talks to the nuts and bolts of every processor, peripheral on the planet is no small task. That, of course is why Chromium OS is a layer on top of / modification of Linux. Hey worked with the mobile market, why not here.

    But an obvious ploy to thwart the "run anywhere" crowd, like me, by throwing the browser and all of the support layers under the bus. But Google obviously sees market space among the Windows, Apple, Linux crowd and wants a chunk of that too.
  • Chrome takes its apps to the desktop

    No thanks, that is just inviting spyware onto your computer. Less Google on the desktop the better.
    • Hey Jason...

      Hi Jason... you keep coming back, dontcha?
      Can you recall the times of windowoes95 and 98 when back doors were actually proven opened?
      Or have old memories left you in the new dark ages?
  • Actually desktops apps

    means less spyware. Basically spyware is spread through the internet and bad things getting in through the holes to the rest of the work. Back in the day before internet Viruses were spread by actually installing executables. Then can the internet and connection to the world left many holes. Viruses moved from executables to thin clients, email and browsers. The more access we have to the world the more access the world has to us and our private data. Desktop apps run without an internat connection which is really safer computing.
  • Google concedes to the desktop

    But it will still be their desktop and you should have no expectation of privacy.
  • Smart move by Google

    The next step is increasing off-line functionality for Chrome OS across all devices.

    Google's announcement is just further proof that they will in the not-too-distant future replace Android with Chrome...and try to eat both Microsoft's (desktop OS) and Apple's (mobile OS) lunch.
    • Actually, my statement above is semi-wrong

      Google doesn't actually need to modify Chrome for mobile devices. Instead, what they'll do (or more accurately what their OEM partners will do) is build Chrome OS-based tablets (probably as part of convertibles) and in time, smartphones (i.e. not unlike what Mozilla is starting to do with Firefox OS).

      Either way, Google is still going after both Microsoft's and Apple's lunch.
  • No executables from Google

    ANYTHING from the above mentioned must be written in HTML5 or face being blocked.
    • C, C++ or C# code and libraries are allowed....

      Basically you can include any C, C++, or C# code or libraries as well as Javascript and asm.js code. This makes porting of existing legacy code and libraries relatively simple, the payoff being native speed, compatibility with legacy code, and write once, run on any OS capability.
  • Awesome

    I say this will be cool. Rather than using apps on chrome browser now we can use them on our desktop.
  • That’s great

    That’s great! These new Chrome Apps will take the web out of browser. It seems that ever-developing Google is taking over computing and what I have read about a couple of months ago that “Are Google days numbered?”, now the answer is emphatically “No”. Exciting news for technology users!