Chrome Apps mosey on over to Macs

Google's attempt to gives traditional Web sites a more mobile app feel opens its doors to Macs, several months after launching on Windows.

Chrome Apps now work on Macs. This illustration shows the Chrome App launcher on the Mac doc. Google

Google filled in a missing piece of its Chrome Apps puzzle on Wednesday when it announced it finally has added Mac support for its new app-ification of the Web.

Chrome Apps are Web apps that function even without an Internet connection, and they must be run in Chrome. They can display desktop notifications, they have access to Bluetooth and USB, and they can interact with digital cameras and other peripherals like native apps. But they also act like Web sites, with cross-platform syncing and in-app payments.

The ecosystem has faced criticism for "breaking the Web," an accusation that stems from the fact that thus far the apps can only be run in Google Chrome, and not other Web browsers.

"This is the way to deliver native apps for Chrome OS," Chrome engineering director Erik Kay said to CNET when Chrome Apps debuted in September .

As with its Chrome OS and Windows counterparts, Chrome Apps on Mac include a launcher icon so that they can be accessed independently of the browser.

The Mac support follows news that Google is further ahead than previously believed with Chrome apps for mobile devices . Much like its relatively recent support for Android on Intel x86 processors , Google has a keen interest in getting Chrome and its ancillary features such as Chrome Apps onto as many devices as possible.

About the author

Senior writer Seth Rosenblatt covers Google and security for CNET News, with occasional forays into tech and pop culture. Formerly a CNET Reviews senior editor for software, he has written about nearly every category of software and app available.

 

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