Chrome Web Apps preview
Chrome 6 (the beta channel) or 7 (the dev channel) let you use the new Google Web Apps. I thought I’d run them down a bit for you. You can see in the screenshot below, I’ve got Apps for Instapaper and GMail installed. What a web app is is still evolving, for now they’re pretty simple; particularly if developed by a 3rd party. If Instapaper wants to develop a web app with offline articles available (similiar to its iPhone app), it could; but as a 3rd party the “Instapaper” app I developed only does a few basic things:
1. Adds a nice link in the new tab page (see the screenshot below).
2. Clicking that link opens a pinned tab (see the smaller tab with the Instapaper icon to the left of the active tab in the screenshot). If you quit Chrome with a web app tab open its state gets saved and restored the next time you run Chrome.
3. Lets me designate a tab icon for Instapaper.
If you want to run these yourself:
1. Get on the chrome dev channel.
2. Download a .zip of the following apps: GMail, Google Calendar, and Instapaper. A few disclaimers about them:
- These are not official releases by me, the Gmail and Google Calendar apps are actually included inside the application bundle of Chrome 7 (I just copied them out for easier access).
- I will not be updating these.
- The apps are very simple manifest files and icons so there’s no chance for bugs.
- I included the source code so you can make your own and/or modify them.
3. Unzip the file you just downloaded and you’ll see the three apps, (they have a .crx extension). On a Mac you can just drag them to Chrome’s dock icon to install. On Windows you’ll need to open them with Chrome some other way (try and drag them onto an open Chrome window).
4. You can manage, disable, or uninstall them in chrome’s extensions page.