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Is your web browser overflowing with tabs? Do you have trouble discerning which tab is which? I typically have a ton of tabs open in my web browser, so adding another tab can get messy.
I could use tab management, but not every browser handles that feature well. On top of that, there are some sites I'd prefer to work with as a more traditional app in its own window that I can access quickly from my desktop menu.
If that sounds like you (and you use the Chrome browser), there's a feature that's been around for some time that makes it easy for you to create a web app from the sites you use. Before you get confused, you're not actually building a web app. Instead, Chrome can turn any site you use into what appears like an application, isolated from the browser, in its own window. The site is still served up and rendered in Chrome, only missing many of the bits that would identify the window as a web browser.
Think about it: instead of opening your browser and then opening yet another tab for the site in question, you simply click on your desktop menu and open the web app for that site. The site in question will open in its own window, minus all the typical browser features (no toolbars, bookmarks, or address bars… just a window and the 'app').
There are only two reasons why I still have Chrome installed: the ability to create standalone apps, and the capability to cover Chrome when necessary for editorial articles. Even if I didn't have to write about Chrome, I'd still have it installed for this app-creation feature alone (because there are still sites that perform better in Chrome than any other browser).
So, how do you do use this excellent feature? Let me show you.
How to create your first web app with Chrome
What you'll need: The only thing you'll need is the Chrome browser installed on any desktop operating system (as this feature doesn't work on the mobile version). Now, let's create our first web app.
1. Open Chrome and navigate to a website
The first thing to do is open Chrome and navigate to the site you want to create as a web app.
Next, you'll want to click the checkbox for Open as window. What this step does is strip away all the features that are typically found in a browser window (toolbars, address bars, etc.). After you do that, click Create and you're done.
4. Check that the site opens in its own window
After clicking Create, the site will open in its own window, where you can use it as though it was its own app on your desktop computer.
I use this feature regularly when I don't want to clog up my tab bar, and for special sites that I use that don't require a traditional browser interface. Give this feature a try and see if you don't start using more and more web apps on your desktop.