Google previews Chrome app launcher for Macs

Miscellaneous 8 Sep , 2013  

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Google will host first Chrome developers summit this November to push OS subversion strategy

educational_header_icon_laptop284This past July, Google released a Chrome app launcher for Windows. Today, Mac users can finally get in on the fun, as Google has released a developer preview of the app launcher for Mac. The Chrome app launcher allows you to open your favorite Google apps like Gmail and Drive right from your dock.

Using the app launcher is simple. Click on the dock icon and a popup menu opens showing the apps you currently have installed. Each app will open in its own window outside of Chrome, just like any normal desktop program.

Again, Google has released this as a developer preview, but if you’d like to try the app launcher for yourself, you can give it a try by completing the following steps:

1) You need to make sure you’re on the most recent version of Chrome (typically, Chrome keeps itself updated nicely, so just restarting occasionally should do the trick).

2) Enable the app launcher by entering chrome://flags into the address bar of Chrome, and then and locating and enabling “App Launcher OSX App Bundle.” It may be easier to hit Cmd+F and search for “launcher” — it’s approximately 2/3 of the way down the page.

3) Once you’ve enabled the extension, relaunch Chrome.

4) Go browse the selection of desktop apps in the Chrome Web Store, find one you’d like to try and install it, then launch it once it’s installed.

5) Once the app has launched, you should now be able to find the Chrome App Launcher in your Applications folder under Chrome Apps.

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From there, you can open the launcher, or drag the icon into your dock for easy access. Head over to Google’s blog for more information on the launcher as well as suggestions on apps that work with it.

Browsers are already platforms within platforms,” said IDC analyst Al Hilwa in a July interview. “By making it easy for Web applications to take advantage of these APIs, Google creates a larger ecosystem for Chrome as a browser and also as a native platform for Chrome OS devices.”

To get the launcher, just install a Chrome App from the Chrome Web Store, such as this text editor or note-taking app. The first time you install an app, the launcher will show up as an icon in the Dock. Chrome Packaged Apps for the Mac are available in the dev channel of Chrome and will be launched to stable channel soon.

In the meantime, you can build your own packaged app, upload it to the Chrome Web Store and give all of your users access to it via a direct link. Have questions about this or any other Chrome Apps features? We always welcome your feedbacks !

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