Chrome Apps=Desktop Apps

The new Chrome apps are versatile and remove the distinction between what a native desktop app can do vs what a web app can do. Chrome apps or Chrome extensions are written in HTML5, JS and CSS and are slowly being able to access device resources like the USB, camera, Graphics Processor, bare network utilities.

Chrome Samples gives a general idea of what Chrome apps can do. Further, Chrome apps are more accessible today than before. Before, Chrome apps could run in the background but could be initiated with a user action near the search bar on a small icon. Today, on a Mac, they land up in your docker. This was exciting because I personally wished that a few web services that I used existed as a dedicated desktop client app, like SoundCloud.

In this context, I also have a favorite service of mine, Calm that I use often, but needed as a desktop app. With a simple manifest file and a webView tag in HTML, I was able to port it and I am loving the experience, albiet slighly slower in performance.


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