Google Chrome Wants to Turn Your Favourite Websites Into Apps

Google Chrome Wants to Turn Your Favourite Websites Into Apps

A future Google Chrome update previewed in Chrome Canary looks like it’ll add support for turning all of your favourite websites into accessible Windows and Mac apps, running through Chrome, but in functionally separate windows.

Brought to our attention by @Leopeva64 on Twitter, the latest version of Google Chrome Canary, the unstable developer-oriented build of Chrome that typically includes far-off features for future public releases, includes a new feature for installing webpages as apps.

It’s a new Chrome Canary feature (and likely a future public Chrome feature) that splits webpages off into different processes, however, because it still all flows through Chrome, and because it’s reliant on the internet, you’ll still need the internet for the wealth of features.

When you’re browsing the internet in the Chrome browser, and you click on a website link for a site you have assigned as an app, it’ll boot that app rather than open the website in a separate tab.

Chrome’s ‘Progressive Web Apps’ API has been in the works for years, and up until now, a select few websites have actually been using it, such as YouTube and Reddit.

And, if it gets introduced well, it could be one heck of a good feature for Chrome. On a surface level, it gives users a greater ability to sort and organise their websites as if they’re real applications. However, I would like there to be some deep offline support for select PWAs in a public version.

For example, the PWA YouTube Music app is the only way a user can have a YouTube Music ‘app’ on Windows or Mac. It’s not really a native app, just a glorified Chrome window. It’s all just running through the internet, without the ability to install songs locally and without a tray icon. Strangely, offline features like having local installs are actually a thing for the standard YouTube PWA.

It’ll likely be a case-by-case thing for websites, but I’m certainly excited about this update.

Image: Gizmodo Australia

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