updated 12:26 pm EDT, Thu September 5, 2013
Search giant continues web platform push
Google is celebrating Chrome's fifth birthday by introducing a new generation of Chrome apps "for your desktop." As an evolution of the Chrome Web Store, the new Chrome Apps are capable of supporting many features, such as USB and Bluetooth integration, that had been limited to native software.
Although the apps are still based on web standards, they no longer need to run in the browser itself. Apps can launch directly from the desktop, popping up in their own window without tabs or a search bar, with reminders and controls sent through the desktop notification center.
"These apps are more powerful than before, and can help you get work done, play games in full-screen and create cool content all from the web," writes Google engineering director Erik Kay in a blog post.
The company is showing off several apps to demonstrate the new capabilities. Pixlr Touch Up enables users to edit photos stored on a computer or Google Drive, with offline support and a variety of effects and editing tools to choose from. Another app, Wunderlist, takes advantage of voice dictation and desktop notifications for creating and managing to-do lists.
Chrome Apps are available in the Chrome Web Store for Windows and Chromebook devices. Support is "coming soon" for Mac and Linux.