This new Canonical feature solves my biggest problem with online productivity apps

If you're a fan of either Google Workspace or Office 365 Online, Ubuntu desktop Linux will soon make it possible for them to feel like standard desktop apps.
Written by Jack Wallen, Contributing Writer
Man working on computer in office
Getty Images/10'000 Hours

If you've ever used either the Chrome or Chromium web browser, you know that you can take any website and turn it into a web app. The web app is nothing more than a web browser displaying the site but without all the usual controls found in the browser. It's little more than a window with a border that you can use to move the app around and re-size. 

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Why does this even matter? I, for one, prefer not everything be used within a browser window. If I can open and use a site without having to add another tab into the mix, then I'd go that route (at least with some sites). Of course, those same apps aren't integrated with your desktop. Remember, they are nothing more than websites rendered in a separate, minimal web browser.

But they are handy.

Canonical knows this and plans to add a feature in Ubuntu 24.04, by way of snap, that makes it possible to quickly install either the Google Workspace or Office 365 Online wrapper with a simple command (so no more having to first install the Chrome or Chromium browsers and then click Menu > Save and Share > Create shortcut).

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According to Canonical's Tim Holmes-Mitra, "We're creating a series of productivity snaps targeting GSuite and Office 365. When this is done, it will be as simple as running sudo snap install GSuite and bam! Electron-wrapped versions of your productivity must-haves will be at your fingertips." As well, Holmes-Mitra indicates Canonical plans on adding more seamless integration into the desktop.

If there's one thing Canonical knows, it's how to make the desktop efficient, and this should help with that quest.

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