Google Chrome Will Soon Let You Install Any Website as a Desktop App

Google Chrome will soon let you install any webpage as a desktop app on your Mac, just like Apple's Safari browser does in macOS Sonoma (via Android Police).

Chrome Feature 22
The new feature was spotted by X (Twitter) user Leopeva64 in the latest Chrome Canary build, which includes a new option called "Install page as app," which can be found in Settings ➝ Save and share. Websites such as YouTube and Reddit which already have their own web apps will also automatically appear as optional installs in this menu.

Selecting the "Install page as app" option invokes a prompt to "Install app," as shown in the image below. Web apps are automatically saved in an Applications subfolder called Chrome Canary Apps, where they can be optionally dragged to the Dock in macOS.

chrome web apps
Currently, Chrome's implementation of web apps is more sophisticated than Safari's, as it provides not only a simplified toolbar with navigation buttons, but also a pared down settings menu with options including Copy URL, Open in Chrome, Uninstall, Zoom, Print, Find and Edit, and Cast.

The feature is thanks to Chrome's long-standing support for Progressive Web Apps (PWAs), which Google originally embraced as a replacement for Chrome apps on the Google Play store.

chrome web app 2
Users can try out the feature before it goes live in the stable build of Chrome by downloading the latest Canary 124 update and enabling two new flags. To do so, copy and paste the following links into the address bar:

  • chrome://flags/#web-app-universal-install
  • chrome://flags/#shortcuts-not-apps

Chrome 123 is currently in beta and is expected to be released to the public imminently, so PWA support for webpages won't be in the upcoming version, but the next stable build after that.

Top Rated Comments

coffeemilktea Avatar
5 weeks ago
When I woke up this morning, I thought to myself "you know what would fill the great emotional void in my life? MORE Google Chrome." And like some demented, ad-serving, data-hoarding Santa Claus, Google provided everything I could have asked for and more today.

Now, every time I see the web apps cluttering my desktop, I can feel the existential crisis being pushed further away. Thank you, Google! ?
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mrkevinfinnerty Avatar
5 weeks ago
Installing apps? Apple wants 30%.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nt5672 Avatar
5 weeks ago
As much as I hate Google, Google seems like the only way to keep Apple providing functionality users want. Apple certainly does not care.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
scorpio vega Avatar
5 weeks ago
No thanks. I try not to install spyware/adware on my Mac. So no to chrome
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JitteryJimmy Avatar
5 weeks ago
Awesome move, Google!

These websites masquerading as apps will make it far easier for users to update their out-of-date Adobe Flash Player.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
chrono1081 Avatar
5 weeks ago
People still use Chrome?

EDIT: Why are people butthurt for me making fun of Chrome? It's a terrible browser and there's plenty of reason enterprise is moving to Edge (which everyone knows is built on Chromium so don't come at that angle).

Chrome is a classic example of something Google made and then stopped caring about. For YEARS Chrome couldn't even detect a simple password change and would constantly try and fill in an old password on all the computers I and my coworkers were forced to use it on. That's a shameful bug to have.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iPhone 16 Camera Lozenge 2 Colors

iPhone 16 Plus Rumored to Come in These 7 Colors

Wednesday April 10, 2024 3:52 am PDT by
Apple's iPhone 16 Plus may come in seven colors that either build upon the existing five colors in the standard iPhone 15 lineup or recast them in a new finish, based on a new rumor out of China. According to the Weibo-based leaker Fixed focus digital, Apple's upcoming larger 6.7-inch iPhone 16 Plus model will come in the following colors, compared to the colors currently available for the...
apple tv 4k yellow bg feature

When to Expect a New Apple TV to Launch

Tuesday April 9, 2024 8:30 am PDT by
It has been nearly a year and a half since the current Apple TV was released, so the device is becoming due for a hardware upgrade. Below, we recap rumors about the next Apple TV, including potential features and launch timing. The current model is the third-generation Apple TV 4K, announced in October 2022. Key new features compared to the previous model from 2021 include a faster A15...
apple silicon feature joeblue

Macs to Get AI-Focused M4 Chips Starting in Late 2024

Thursday April 11, 2024 10:10 am PDT by
Apple will begin updating its Mac lineup with M4 chips in late 2024, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. The M4 chip will be focused on improving performance for artificial intelligence capabilities. Last year, Apple introduced the M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max chips all at once in October, so it's possible we could see the M4 lineup come during the same time frame. Gurman says that the entire...
iOS 18 WWDC 24 Feature 2

iOS 18 May Feature All-New 'Safari Browsing Assistant'

Wednesday April 10, 2024 6:11 am PDT by
iOS 18 will apparently feature a new Safari browsing assistant, according to backend code on Apple's servers discovered by Nicolás Álvarez. MacRumors contributor Aaron Perris confirmed that the code exists, but not many details are known at this time. Álvarez said it seems like the browsing assistant will use iCloud Private Relay's infrastructure to send relevant data to Apple in a...
maxresdefault

Review: Six Months With the iPhone 15 Pro

Wednesday April 10, 2024 10:53 am PDT by
It's been a bit over six months since the iPhone 15 lineup came out in September, and MacRumors videographer Dan Barbera has been using an iPhone 15 Pro Max sans case since launch. Over on our YouTube channel, Dan did a long term review to demo how his phone has held up and his thoughts on the Action button, battery life, and camera features. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more ...
iPhone 16 Pro Sizes Feature

Alleged iPhone 16 Battery Details Show Smaller Capacity for One Model

Tuesday April 9, 2024 3:46 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming iPhone 16 lineup will feature bigger battery capacities compared to previous-generation models with the exception of the iPhone 16 Plus, which will have a smaller battery than its predecessor. That's according to the Chinese Weibo-based leaker OvO Baby Sauce OvO, a relatively new source of supply chain leaks with an as-yet unproven track record for accuracy. The iPhone 16 ...