Updated March 8th, 2024 at 15:48 IST

Chrome’s new update makes converting your favorite websites into apps easier

In the latest iteration of Chrome Canary, users can easily convert websites into desktop apps.

Reported by: Business Desk
Google Chrome | Image:Unsplash
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Google Chrome 124: Google's foray into Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) has sparked a surge in adoption among Chrome users. Notably, Chrome Canary, the pre-release version of Google Chrome, now facilitates the seamless installation of websites as desktop apps, to improve user experience.

Originally announced by Google seven years ago, the transition away from Chrome apps on Windows, Mac, and Linux was projected to finish by 2018 but ultimately extended until 2023. This shift paved the way for PWAs, web applications that mimic the functionality of traditional desktop programs. By early 2022, the installation of PWAs by Chrome users had reached unprecedented levels, indicating a growing acceptance of this technology.

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In the latest iteration of Chrome Canary, users can easily convert websites into desktop apps. A new "Install page as app…" option has been integrated into the "Save and share" submenu on the desktop version, streamlining the process. 

Notably, websites with existing PWAs, such as YouTube or Reddit, prompt users to install them, with the "Install page as app…" function displaying the site's name accordingly (e.g., "Install YouTube").

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Although the ability to enable PWA functionality via flags was introduced in February, its full implementation has occurred recently. Users can activate this feature in Chrome Canary by installing the browser and enabling two specific flags:

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

Presently, Canary is operating on an early version of Chrome 124, while the stable build stands at version 122, released in February. The latest stable release, Chrome 123, currently in beta, is set to introduce features such as an integrated PDF reader on Android and enhanced media player options for desktops and laptops, along with various improvements to tab group sharing.

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Published March 8th, 2024 at 13:50 IST