Just under a week ago, Google officially launched the Chrome Desktop Apps in the non-beta version of Chrome for Windows and on Chromebooks. It’s not officially in Chrome for Mac or Linux just yet, but if you install Chrome Beta, you can use the Chrome desktop apps across all your computers today.
The desktop apps are actually really nice — in fact, they almost feel exactly like native apps on your Mac or PC, if it weren’t for the fact that they have to have Chrome running at the same time. The Chrome desktop apps work offline, can integrate with your peripherals, be launched individually from Launchpad or your Windows 8 start screen, can send push notifications, and in general just work like a native app. But then, when you’re on your PC at work, or hacking on Linux, you’ll have the same apps there too, at least if you’ve got Chrome syncing. It’s a really neat concept, one that’s already boasting support from Wunderlist, Pocket, and more with apps that look practically just like their native Mac counterparts.
Now, on the Mac we’ve had Fluid for years to turn web apps into quasi-desktop apps, and Chrome for Windows has let web apps run in their own chromeless window for quite some time. That’s nothing new. What is new is how native-app-like the new Chrome desktop apps are. They really don’t feel like web apps anymore.
So, will you be using them, or are you already using Chrome desktop apps? Or do web apps belong in a tab alongside your other sites? We’d love to hear your thoughts about Chrome desktop apps in the comments below!