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New Chrome Feature Will Let Users Create Custom Hosted Apps

Creating a custom Hosted App in Linux.

Creating a custom Hosted App in Linux.

Chrome developers have added an easy way to create Hosted Apps for all of your favourite sites in the latest Chrome builds.

In all the hubbub around Chrome Apps (née packaged apps), Google have pushed Hosted Apps further into the background. Hosted Apps were once the only apps available to Chrome – more or less glorified bookmarks – before the more powerful packaged apps were added.

But the latest builds of Chromium and Chrome dev have added a new flag for Windows, Linux, and Chrome OS users to create their own Hosted Apps right from the Chrome menu.

If you’re running the latest builds of Chromium or Chrome dev, you can copy and paste the following link to find the “experimental streamlined hosted apps” flag:

chrome://flags/#enable-streamlined-hosted-apps

After restarting your browser, just visit a site you’d like to bookmark, head to the Chrome “hot dog” menu, then select Tools and click the “Create app from this website…” option. A Hosted App will then be added to the apps page and Chrome App Launcher, if available on your platform.

The App Launcher entry will also have the familiar shortcut icon in the bottom left-hand corner, but otherwise will look similar to other apps. The apps page, on the other hand, seems to showcase less than stellar favicons that are typically too small for the apps page tiles.

But the feature has only just been introduced to Chrome, so here’s hoping we see both the same icon upscaling on the apps page as in the App Launcher and a way to customise the icons outright in the future.