Google Now Brings Chrome Apps to Mac Desktops

 
 
By Todd R. Weiss  |  Posted 2013-12-13 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Apple Macintosh users will now get the same features and benefits as Windows and Chromebook desktop users.

Google is now making its feature-laden Chrome Apps offerings available to Apple Macintosh desktop users, delivering them to Mac users after first debuting them to Chrome and Windows users.

"A few months ago we announced Chrome Apps which bring the best of productivity, games and more to your desktop," wrote Google software engineers Trent Apted and Jack Hou, in a Dec. 11 post on the Google Chrome Blog. "Starting today, you can access these apps on any computer with Chrome, including Mac. Check them out in the 'For your desktop' collection in the Chrome Web Store."

Back in May 2013, Google launched a developer preview of the Chrome packaged app concept, then in July 2013 the company unveiled six new feature-filled APIs as part of its growing stable of Chrome packaged apps browser add-ons that are aimed at enriching the experiences of Chrome browser users. The Chrome packaged apps help give richer user experiences by adding more access to Google services for Chrome Web browser users.

"Chrome Apps work offline, update automatically and sync to any computer where you're signed into Chrome, so you can pick up where you left off. Your Chrome Apps on Mac behave and feel just like native software," wrote Apted and Hou. "For example, you can find your Chrome Apps in the Applications folder on the Dock. Search for apps by name in the Spotlight search—just like any other Mac program that you already use."

In a related move, Google is releasing the Chrome App Launcher for Mac, which will make it even faster for users to find and launch their favorite Chrome Apps, they wrote. To get the new Launcher, users can download a new Chrome App and install it, which will deploy the Launcher in their Dock.

The new Chrome Apps for Mac include such apps as WeVideo Next, which helps users perform easy video editing and allows users to access their videos from anywhere, wrote Apted and Hou. "You choose the editing mode that suits your level of experience and then trim, adjust, apply themes and publish. And it works offline, so you can get a head start polishing up your family videos on your flight home."

Also included is Smartsheet, which is a project management and collaboration app that can help users stay organized. Until AM is an app that lets users become a disc jockey at parties or at home, using a user's music collection from the cloud when online or through locally stored songs, wrote Apted and Hou.

A wide range of other Chrome Apps is also available in the Chrome Web Store.

In September, Google added new features and capabilities to its Chrome Packaged Apps for Chrome and Windows. Packaged apps offer several key benefits for Chrome users, according to Google, including that they run separately from the browser and are offline applications, so they don't rely on having always-on access to a network connection. That makes packaged apps as capable as a native app, but as safe as a Web page, according to Google. The packaged apps are written in HTML5, JavaScript and CSS.

A developer preview was conducted back in February, Erik Kay, the engineering director for Chrome, told eWEEK, and now the apps are being released to consumers to let them try out the new services. "People are doing some fun and innovative applications," he said.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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