Chrome's upcoming feature would let you launch websites like apps

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Chrome for desktop browsers is poised to introduce a new feature: a universal dialog for installing web applications. This development, currently indicated by non-functional flags, suggests broader accessibility and potential for web apps.

Two Chromium flags are being developed, as noticed by Leopeva64 on X. These flags indicate a universal installer for web applications. With these new flags, it seems that Chrome may allow the installation of any website as a web application. This could potentially happen irrespective of any existing app stores or platform limitations. If this feature is implemented, it could greatly improve the reach and accessibility of web applications.

  1. Enabling the “Allow any site to be installed” flag on Windows, Mac, and Linux systems allows for installing any website as a web app without needing a manifest file. This flag bypasses traditional manifest requirements, which dictate how web apps behave and integrate with the system. Doing so can expand app creation to various developers and websites.
  2. The “Shortcuts not Apps” feature replaces the “create shortcut” option with a convenient link that provides faster website access without requiring a full app installation. This feature offers two options: a full app installation for deeper integration and a “fire-and-forget” link for quick website access without commitment.

All this means is that the users can install any website as a web application, which can enhance their experience while using frequently accessed platforms. Additionally, the “fire-and-forget” link option can provide a convenient way to access websites without requiring a full app installation.

These flags are not yet functional and represent potential future features. Availability within the stable Chrome version remains uncertain.

Overall, introducing a universal web app installer in Chrome desktop could broaden the adoption and usage of web apps, offering users more flexibility and potentially impacting how they interact with online services. 

More about the topics: Chromium