10 Great Chrome Web Apps Built For Chrome

By now I’m sure you’ve heard of Google’s new Chrome Web Store and some of the great apps you can find there. What you might not have heard or found out for yourself yet is that many of the apps in the Web Store are actually just links to existing web apps. Lots of people were expecting more apps to be optimized to take advantage of Chrome’s capabilities, and they’re not.

We’ve dug through the Chrome Web Store to find 10 really great Chrome apps that aren’t just links to existing apps, they’re either specifically a Chrome app or optimized for Chrome. Take a look and let us know what you’ve found.

Are They Really Chrome Apps?

While some of these apps certainly are Chrome apps, which require Chrome to work, several of them are simply highly optimized web apps that take advantage of Chrome’s new web capabilities (HTML5, etc). Some of the apps that are optimized for Chrome will actually work in Safari as well, which is actually pretty nice.

The most common complaint I see on the Chrome Web Store is that most apps are simply bookmarks for exisiting web apps, which is disappointing for many. The following list of apps aren’t app bookmarks and I’ve tried each one (some for longer than I should have, but you know how that goes).

Using and Managing Apps From the Chrome Web Store

If you’re new to the Chrome Web Store and installing Chrome apps, be sure to give our how-to covering installing, tweaking and managing Chrome apps.

TweetDeck

TweetDeck

TweetDeck

TweetDeck is one of the most popular Chrome apps available at the moment and rightly so—they actually built the app like it should’ve been built for Chrome, unlike so many other apps. The app brings the greatness of TweetDeck into the browser with real-time streaming, a simplified interface and multiple social network support.

NYTimes

NYTimes

NYTimes

With the NYTimes app, you’ll be able to read your news and enjoy the minimalistic interface it offers. Your able to customize the look and feel to fit your taste and if you lose your internet connection, don’t worry, you’ll be able to continue reading offline. You’ll also get breaking news alerts in-app so you won’t miss a beat. Although it’s optimized for Chrome, you can also use it in Safari.

  • Price: Free
  • Requirements: Chrome or Safari
  • Install App
Sports Illustrated Snapshot

Sports Illustrated Snapshot

Sports Illustrated Snapshot

This is a neat app for some visual good-ness offering ten great photos from the sports world, all selected by Sports Illustrated editors and published every morning. It doesn’t stop there though, you can get sports scores, access your SI account and get in-app extras (for a price). It works great but the interface isn’t quite as fluid as I’d expect—nonetheless a great app.

Stickies

Stickies

Stickies

It’s simple, but useful. Stickies, just like it’s name suggests, lets you keep a “board” of sticky notes in four different colors. It’s lacking in features at the moment but Google Tasks integration is on the way and, hopefully, other methods of note syncing.

Super Mario Bros

Super Mario Bros

Super Mario Bros

Does it get much better than Super Mario Bros? Classic gaming meets advanced web (sort of). It’s a fun little addition to Chrome for taking a break from work or to get your Super Mario Bros fill. The developer also offers another fun game, Canabalt, where your character tries to escape a crumbling city. Simple, but fun!

HuffingtonPost NewsGlide

HuffingtonPost NewsGlide

HuffingtonPost NewsGlide

If you’re a Huffington Post reader, you’ll want to snag this app. In fact, I’d recommend giving this app a try whether you’re a HP reader or not. It’s still in Beta, but it’s a great example of the kind of interfaces we have on the way (similar to what you’d find on the iPad). The app needs more work, however, before it’s navigation will be as fluid as it should be.

NPR

NPR

NPR

Another app for news, NPR rocks a sexy sliding interface that looks a lot like an iPad web app made for the desktop. The app lets you easily create a playlist of NPR audio, even while reading stories and supports offline reading. Although it’s optimized for Chrome, it seems to function great in Safari as well. In fact, it’s far smoother operating in Safari than in Chrome! (Uh… Google?)

  • Price: Free
  • Requirements: Chrome or Safari
  • Install App
Amazon Windowshop

Amazon Windowshop

Amazon Windowshop

Although it’s Flash based, Amazon Windowshop is definitely an app you should try if you’re an Amazon.com shopper. The app is smooth to navigate around but probably won’t be your choice method for finding things to buy on Amazon, although it is nice just for browsing around (aka. window shopping).

  • Price: Free
  • Requirements: Chrome or Safari, Flash
  • Install App
Weather Window

Weather Window

Weather Window

If you’re a fan of WeatherBug or you like keeping an eye on the weather, give this app a try. Weather Window gives you fast access to all your local weather info., including forecasts, weather radar (Google Maps overlay) and even local camera shots from news stations or others. You can also add multiple locations so they’re only a click away.

Fancy Pants Adventure

Fancy Pants Adventure

The Fancy Pants Adventure: World 2

At first glance I thought this was just another silly attempt at a fun game, but I discovered it was strangely addicting. It’s developed by EA2D and is also being developed for the Xbox and Playstation. If you want to take a break from work, definitely give this game a try.

  • Price: Free
  • Requirements: Just Chrome & Flash
  • Install App

Great Reader Submissions

Write Space

Write Space

Write Space

Write Space is a simple text editor that features persistent backup, offline capabilities, live document stats and a few customization features to fit your tastes. It might be simple but it does a great job of aiding in minimizing distractions so you can get down to writing.

Thanks for the recommendation Matthew!

Your Favorites?

If you’ve been digging through the Chrome Web Store for awesome new apps, have you found any you really love? Are there any you think should be on this list? Let us know and we might update the list with your contribution!


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