Your Top Sites Are Now Apps! Chrome 124 Lets You Escape the Browser

Your Top Sites Are Now Apps! Chrome 124 Lets You Escape the Browser

Remember Chrome Apps, those convenient shortcuts resembling apps for your favorite websites that disappeared in 2023? Google has introduced a replacement: Progressive Web Apps (PWAs). PWAs act as web apps blurring the distinction between websites and native apps, providing an app-like experience without requiring downloads from the app store. Chrome Canary now advances PWAs by enabling you to install any website as a desktop app!

Enhanced Web Experience

With just one click on the app icon, you can launch the website in its separate window. This advancement allows you to convert any frequently visited website into a dedicated app on your desktop. Say goodbye to searching through browser tabs - simply click on the app icon, and the site opens in its exclusive window, prepared for immediate use.

Simplified Installation Process

Previously, activating PWA capabilities involved modifying flags. However, with the recent Canary update, a new "Install page as app..." choice emerges in the "Save and share" menu. By selecting this option, a distinct app window is created for the website. Even established PWAs like YouTube will now showcase their names ("Install YouTube") in the menu.

To test this feature, download Chrome Canary and activate these flags:

  • chrome://flags/#web-app-universal-install
  • chrome://flags/#shortcuts-not-apps

This functionality is currently available in Chrome Canary (an early edition of Chrome 124). The stable Chrome version (122) concentrates on AI writing and Read Aloud tools for Android. The forthcoming stable release (Chrome 123) introduces a built-in PDF reader for Android, an Android-style media player for desktops, and improved tab group sharing.

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