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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:


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.

  • I was going to code something like this once upon a time, but as a webpage. I took so long Chrome devs did it themselves :P

  • Ryan

    You can actually do this in the current version of chrome by dragging over a site from the Most visited section to the Apps section. I have “Enable Instant Extended API ” disabled, so I’m not sure if this works with it enabled.

  • pmug

    Are these the same as the bookmark apps we create, just and automated way to do them now? These don’t use of system resources, doing it this way, do they?

  • MaitreyaVyas

    Seems interesting going to try it out on Chrome dev.

  • This works in Chrome dev channel also. Just added some of my faviourite tech news sources and sites. Looks like there’s now no need to create hosted apps in future that just links to the websites.

  • Boothy

    Nice. Easier than making my own and side-loading them.
    Any word on if they will sync with your profile? Hope so, happy days :)

  • rcrow490

    This feature is in the stable version. In Windows, it lets you create a desktop, start menu, and task bar link with a fav icon.

    • Boothy

      Slightly different functionality.
      This Dev channel stuff allows “apps” to be created in the chrome app launcher (on Chrome OS, and Windows probably)

      • rcrow490

        Same functionality, different location.

  • Kenny Strawn

    Is also available in Chrome OS already… in the Dev Channel. Have it enabled myself…

  • Chuck Cortes

    OK, for those of us clueless, what exactly does this do? Is this still just a bookmark or does it actually create some kind of packaged app? I mean, if its just another way to add bookmarks to the App launcher no thanks. That’s what my bookmark bar is for. Please enlighten me because I really wanna understand.

    • Rick

      It’s just a “Glorified Bookmark” placed in the apps panel. This creates a “Hosted App” from the address of the webpage. “Packaged Apps” are more dynamic and many work “Offline”. On a different note, “Extensions” extend the functionality of the browser.

  • Tyler

    I wonder if they ever catch up with Azure for example. Professional hosting services like or are still a way better than these simple bookmarks..