Even in the advent of new browser technologies which makes it easy for web apps to function, such HTML5, some may still find more benefits in using desktop apps instead. Web apps are not that easy to find and it may be difficult to tell them apart from other ordinary web pages.
Google Chrome Web Applications
Speaking of which, it is one of the major problems in promoting the use of web apps. Web apps such as Facebook and Gmail have been very useful and significant but most web browsers see them as web pages and not apps. In addition to the previous problem, another issue are the security defaults which are mostly compatible only with normal web pages and not with web apps.
The requests for permission boxes popping in regular web pages prior to making changers, for example allowing notification alerts, make sense for most browsers but once these permission requests are applied to a web app, users are usually annoyed.
To address these problems, Chrome made web apps in such a way that users can install it in their browsers. Installable web apps are Google Chrome’s way of turning different web pages into small apps embedded right on your browser. These apps are available in the Chrome Web Store and can be installed instantly as long as you are logged in to Chrome.
Hosted Apps and Packaged Apps
Most of the installable apps are website with additional metadata which is also known as Hosted Apps. You can create and run hosted apps just like any other web app by the use of any server-side or client-side technologies you prefer.
Packaged apps, on the other hand, are apps which can function offline and is very much incorporated with the Google Chrome browser. They are the kind of apps downloaded by users. These apps can opt to use Google Chrome Extension APIs which enables the apps to modify how Chrome looks and functions.
Native Apps, Chrome Page Apps, and Bookmarked Apps
These are the other categories used to classify Google Chrome Installable Web Apps. One of the most criticized types of web apps are the Bookmarked apps. Users have been scrutinizing these apps since they are just bookmarks to different web services like Gmail, Google Docs, and the like. Once these apps are installed, its big icons will now be displayed on your Chrome and will redirect you to the web service when clicked.
Native apps, on the other hand, are not just bookmarks. It shares more similarity with your native desktop apps created for Windows, Mac, or Linux. Codes are usually downloaded when you get these apps and they usually have no URLs displayed on the address bar when you click them.
The last one are the Chrome Page apps which looks and functions like iPad apps. Although these types of apps may be mistaken as a native app, it differs in a way that they have a URL in the address bar when you click them and they have no code downloaded. It is different from Bookmarked Apps since it only functions inside a Chrome browser.
Installing an app is simpler than it may seem. All you have to do is go to the Chrome Web Store, install the app, and use it right away. No need to restart your computer. You will never forget where you have saved your app since it will be represented by a huge icon in Chrome’s New Tab page.
If you have experiences or stories with Chrome’s installable web apps that you want to share, feel free to comment below.