Chromebooks which were launched in 2011, with the view of providing users a complete browser-based computing solution haven't been the success Google hoped for, mainly due to the over-reliance on cloud based solutions. Google wants to fix that problem by launching "Chrome Apps," which essentially are browser-based apps but support offline usage.
The apps were announced in post on the official Google Chrome blog, noting that while apps from the Chrome Web Store have had the ability to run offline previously, but these new apps are expected to offer a lot more functionality. The apps now run separately, with their own UI in a new window as well as connectivity features enabled, such as USB and Bluetooth. Google hopes to provide a tablet-like experience and can be launched directly from the desktop and expects the apps to boost functionality of the Chrome OS and provide cross-platform app and data sync for users on Windows, Mac or Linux.
Google Apps product lead Erik Kay said in an interview with PCWorld that the company "always knew we needed to bring richer apps to Chrome OS. We might have been a little more optimistic that we could have brought more of these things to the Web early on."
Some of the apps that have been featured by Google on the blog are Pixlr Touch Up, Wunderlist and Cracking Sands. Chrome Apps are currently available in the Chrome Web Store for Windows and Chrome OS users. Mac and Linux users can expect them in the next six weeks.
Source: Google Chrome Blog | Images via Google Chrome Blog