In celebration to the fifth anniversary of Google Chrome, the Chrome team over at Google has officially launched its “Packaged Apps”.
Unlike some of its previous offline apps, the new desktop Chrome packaged apps is a “new” breed of app, creating a native/web hybrid experience. These apps are not dependent to Google Chrome. The apps can be launched outside of the browser and behave like native apps.
In addition to how the apps looks, the new Chrome packaged apps adds additional privileges to get some native hardware functionality (like local storage functionality, camera control, and other connected devices like USB and Bluetooth).
Even though the apps functions like native apps on the operating system, much of the Chrome features still remain present. Features like desktop notifications, auto-update, sandboxing, and cloud support is still present in Chrome Desktop Apps.
Currently, there are around 30 apps that takes advantage of the new feature in Google Chrome. Some of the apps include Google Keep, Plex, Picket, Uberconfrence, Lockify, and Flxr Touch Up. You can see the list of packaged apps through the “for your desktop section” of the Chrome Web Store.
As of right now, Chrome Desktop Apps is ready for prime time use on Windows. One thing to note is that the browser adds their own start menu-like button onto the taskbar rather than integrating to the Windows’ Start Menu/Screen. Unfortunately, the Mac side is still behind with a stable version; but Google said that they will launch a Mac and Linux version soon.