Google testing taskbar web app launcher for Chrome

If you like Chrome's Web Apps or the Chrome OS App Menu and you're using Windows, you could be in luck. Google is working to bring the App Menu to the Windows taskbar and that's probably not entirely coincidental, now that Microsoft has removed the traditional start menu from the recently launched Windows 8.

You can check out either the latest Chromium build or Google Chrome Canary if you're willing to try out the first implementation of the new feature. To enable it, go to chrome://flags where you can find more experimental tweaks and features and look for 'Show Chrome Apps Launcher'. A shortcut will be pinned on the taskbar when enabled and removed when the flag is turned off. The menu stays pinned after closing Chrome. Beside the direct access to Chrome's Web Apps, you'll also get a search bar on top of the menu to search the web.

There are still some bugs though, because sometimes a new Chrome window opens instead of the menu. That's probably why the feature is still hidden and only available in Chromium and the Canary release. The App Menu also works on Windows 8.

Source: Chrome Story via TechCrunch | Image via Chrome Story

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21 Comments

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Making web apps more accessible, kind to similar to what Pokki is doing.
Chrome already allow pinning web apps to the taskbar via the New Tabs page though.

Its ok as long as the user can disable it, if it gets out of experimental and becomes an official feature.

I won't use this, but the need to do something. The size of pinned apps/tabs in Chrome is ridiculous. looks like about 10px. With a high resolution they are tiny.

hmm that's an interesting features, however it reminds me of the silly desktop gadgets that google made for XP, like the sidebar widgets

A glorified bookmarks launcher! I tried this when I first saw it on ChromeStory and it wasn't all that interesting. Seeing as most of Chrome's "apps" are just bookmarks, I can do what this "app" launcher already does by enabling the Favorites menu in the Start menu (I have the same bookmarks in IE9 and Chrome).

This seems really silly. How about focus on making a Youtube Windows 8 app or something that people might actually use? Or a mail app to rival the one built into Windows 8. Anything really that isn't that ugly.

KSib said,
This seems really silly. How about focus on making a Youtube Windows 8 app or something that people might actually use? Or a mail app to rival the one built into Windows 8. Anything really that isn't that ugly.
because that just makes too much logical sense!

KSib said,
This seems really silly. How about focus on making a Youtube Windows 8 app or something that people might actually use? Or a mail app to rival the one built into Windows 8. Anything really that isn't that ugly.

I have Windows 8. I use the gmail webapp every day because it's far superior to the built in metro mail app so I guess Google already succeeded in that.

Brian Miller said,
Most Chrome "apps" are just links to really bad quality websites.
sigh... you don't get it, right? those are spyware apps!

Brian Miller said,
Most Chrome "apps" are just links to really bad quality websites.

bad quality links that you use daily, lmao.

Windows already has jump lists, couldn't they just figure out how to integrate that into chrome? Seems kind of pointless though with bookmarks

wv@gt said,
Windows already has jump lists, couldn't they just figure out how to integrate that into chrome? Seems kind of pointless though with bookmarks

They already figure that out, right click your chrome icon.

As it seems it won't take long for Chrome to become ClusterFCK. Google has its reasons, of course. They use it for Chromebooks and who knows what their plans might be. But as a simple browser... You'll have to forget it.

The bad thing is, Fx is following the steps ( not that it was light, but... there's always worse ).

"-Keep adding BS like there's no tomorrow".

PC EliTiST said,
As it seems it won't take long for Chrome to become ClusterFCK. Google has its reasons, of course. They use it for Chromebooks and who knows what their plans might be. But as a simple browser... You'll have to forget it.

The bad thing is, Fx is following the steps ( not that it was light, but... there's always worse ).

"-Keep adding BS like there's no tomorrow".


That's why I like IE. It's, ironically, the lightest browser.

Pam14160 said,
No Thanks.

I think a better solution (at least for windows 8 users) would be a system for adding pinned tiles to the windows 8 start screen that launch "metro" chrome with a special web app interface without the tab and address bar.

I imagine it would even be possible for google to implement live tile support with a chrome api.