Chrome apps can be a bit confusing. Sometimes they are full-fledged apps that even work offline, and sometimes they are just glorified links to a website. If this is the case, why can’t we just make any website an app? Why do we have to wait for a developer to release it?
Google is working on making it possible to create an app (shortcut) and have it available from your App tray. The feature comes with the last Chromium build, so it should be a while before Beta, Canary, Dev and other versions get it, but here are the instructions.
How to create a Chrome app for any website
- You must have Chromium
- Enable the chrome://flags/#enable-streamlined-hosted-apps flag.
- Go to the website you wish to create an app for.
- Go to the menu button, select ‘Tools’ and click on ‘Create app for this website’.
- Done, the app will appear in your App Launcher!
The app will open the website in a new window by default, but you can change the settings to have it open in a new tab, if you wish.
That’s it! I always wondered why this couldn’t be done, so it’s nice to see Google making some progress. Let’s wait for it to come to Chrome Stable release, hopefully sooner rather than later!