How to run web apps on macOS with Chrome connections

With an app shortcut, you can open each website in a separate window and mimick a local application. They are especially useful for web apps. Web apps can be managed more easily in their own application window and often look much nicer.

App shortcuts can be created quickly and easily. But they are still heavily dependent on Chrome and tightly integrated with the Google browser. This article will walk you through exactly how to use this feature in Chrome on macOS.

What is an app shortcut?

An app shortcut is a bit like a bookmark in your browser, but with additional powers. Web apps like Gmail or Twitter the format is most appropriate, rather than traditional, document-centric websites. If you use that Pinned tab Function or have certain websites permanently open in some other way, this is a good alternative.

Note that app shortcuts are not the same as the extensions you install through the Chrome Webshop. Web apps are a replacement for this function anyway.

How to add a link as an app to a website

You can add a link to a website using the following steps:

  1. Open minded Chrome.

  2. Navigate to the website you want to add as an app.

  3. Open minded Chrome’s main menu via the three vertical dots on the top right.

  4. Open that More tools Submenu and click the create link Items.

  5. Make sure to tick Open as a window to create a stand-alone app link.

  6. Enter give the shortcut a name and click Create.

When you add a shortcut, it becomes the original tab close, and the shortcut will open in a new window. If the shortcut already exists, it will open without creating a duplicate.

What influences the appearance of an app shortcut?

When you create a link, the title used by default is the title of the web page. However, if the page contains certain metadata, the link uses an alternate title.

This allows page authors to specify a preferred value for app context. This value is often shorter. Each site can configure different details, including the app’s icon and even some design aspects like color.

How does an app shortcut compare to a normal tab?

App shortcuts are designed to mimic local applications running in a separate window from your main web browser. The main standard difference is the removal of the address bar.

Since an app shortcut represents a single target, tabs are no longer relevant. This will make the tab bar disappear, but the title of the app will be retained.

Also, some navigation icons are not required as they are viewing a site in isolation. By default, there are no forward or home icons. Sites can even configure the display of their apps to hide all navigation icons.

The global app menu is also reduced; it doesn’t include the normal bookmark, persons, tab, or help Products.

How does an app link behave?

Links in the app that would normally open in a separate tab (or window) open in the main browser application, not the app shortcut window. Links that would normally open on the same tab will load in the app’s window.

Links to other domains, along with app shortcuts for unsafe websites, display an additional bar at the top of the app window. This bar shows the domain next to an icon that shows site information. When a link is followed, closing this bar has the same effect as clicking the back button.

Even though apps open in their own dedicated window, they still require an instance of the main Chrome Application are running. if you close Chrome and then open an app shortcut, Chrome opens again in a separate window next to the app. Closing the main line Chrome Window won’t close Apps, but closing the Chrome Application itself will.

the Chrome The main menu (the three vertical dots) is very different in an app shortcut. The main omissions are the items related to windows or tabs. Global Chrome Functions like Downloads or story is also not shown in the app shortcut.

How does macOS handle app shortcuts?

In many ways, app shortcuts appear like full-blown, separate applications. If you use that App switcher switch between applications with Command + Tab, you will see that app shortcuts appear like everyone else.

If you add an app shortcut to the applications folder, you can Launchpad to open it like any other application.

You can drag an app shortcut icon onto it dock and start it like a normal application.

When you open Activity monitor While an app shortcut is running, it will appear next to other applications. It can be inspected or forced to quit like any other.

How are shortcuts saved as files?

On macOS, Chrome saves app shortcuts in a new folder:

/Users/[username]/Applications/Chrome Apps.localized/

This is just a default. You can move app shortcuts anywhere and organize them however you want.

Shortcuts themselves are folders named with the app’s title followed by the APP Renewal. In macOS terminology, each folder is a bundle up. This is a long-established mechanism for collecting related files and grouping them as if they were a single file.

These bundles are quite light; An instance of the Gmail Shortcut app consists of five files that take up a total of 804 KB. By far the largest file at 749 KB is the executable, app_mode_loader, that actually starts Chrome.

This makes any app significantly larger than if it were a simple bookmark. But unless you are working with thousands, you are unlikely to have any significant memory impact.

Are app shortcuts like Electron apps?

In appearance and behavior, app shortcuts are like electron Apps. Electron is a technology for creating cross-platform desktop apps using web standards: HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Common examples are Slack, Figma, and the Atom text editor.

App shortcuts are generally faster and easier to download. They are always as up-to-date as their respective website. But app shortcuts depend on it Google Chrome, and need a running instance of the browser to operate.

Enhance your web app experience with Chrome App shortcuts

Chrome Web app shortcuts are a middle ground between standard document-centric websites and more traditional local software applications. They provide an alternative way of running web apps like Gmail or Todoist outside of your standard web browser.

Running in a dedicated window can make managing a web app in your desktop environment easier. It also looks a bit tidier, which can be useful when taking screenshots or embedding web apps in presentations.

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