The Google Chrome Web Apps store is now live!I must admit that I have been a big Firefox user for a few years now and the thing that brought me to it and away from Internet Explorer at the time was the speed and extensions that Firefox had over Internet Explorer. Over the last couple of years I have been on and off of Google Chrome but again I keep coming back to Firefox because of the great extension support.
Google Chrome has change the game
Well Google has started the Chrome web app store now and there are now also plenty of extensions to start playing with.
Go to the Google Chrome web apps store to see what is available now. Lots of extensions an d many of the apps are more HTML 5 driven and look more like apps than web pages. Impressive enough to make us look at the web in a new way again.
The webstore kind of reminds me of the Apple App store in that there are lots of free apps to get you hooked and then other apps to buy that give you great functionality.
Memory Hogs or Stability Heaven?
But the trouble with this is that all of these apps and extensions run independently in new processes and this means that a separate chrome process is launched that takes more memory. In Firefox everything runs under the Firefox process and the extra memory is minimized but this can lead to your Firefox crashing if you install a bad extension or something goes wrong with a tab or extension
Chrome on the other hand launches everything seperatly and this takes extra memory everywhere which for most people I suspect is fine, but even better is that there is lots of stability.
What Are Google Chrome Web Apps?
So back to that Chrome web store. The Google Chrome web store is broken into four sections. The parts of the web store are apps, extensions, themes, and collections (a mix of the first three that are logically together). The way to look at this is that extensions are applied to the web page that you are looking at while Google Chrome Apps are more of a single web site that has lots of extra abilities added to it (this simplistic explanation will have the Google guys hating me…)
The great thing that I have found about some of these apps is that they are really more like an application that you would run on your computer instead of just a web page. They are a fantastic new way to use the internet as some stuff is run locally while other parts are run across the internet. Not sure how many of them would run without a network connection like some apps do on my iPod Touch but we will see as we go along.
The best way to find your apps is to start a new tab and it will show you all of your apps on that tab to let you select what you want to run.
My Favorite Chrome Web Apps So Far
I am really cheap so these apps are all free ones that I have tried and like a lot.
Flixster – This is a way to see the movies that are out with reviews, trailers, info on DVD release and other stuff. The app looks more like a web page but is very fast and setup nicely. Because of a lot of the locally run parts of this app it is really fast to run.
Seesmic Web – I am a big fan of Tweet Deck and Seesmic Desktop is way to watch and interact with Twitter and Facebook all from the same place.
USA Today – Now the web finally looks like a real newspaper. This app is fast and looks really good like you would expect USA Today to look
Fiabee – This app allows you to save files to the “cloud” and then access them from anywhere with a nice easy to use interface. And the login/account creation is done through your gmail account which is really tightly integrated to Google Chrome anyhow
Aviary Image Editor – You can do image editing (once you setup an account) and your images are edited on your desktop and saved on line where you can use them as you wish.
Multitask – May sound like a tasks program but is actually an online project management Gannt Chart type tool that can be used online or then exported to MS Project. Again you sign in with an account and your Gmail account is fine with them as well.
Get Started with Chrome Web Apps Now
so there are a few. The apps are nice and easy to install just by hitting a button and then right away (without a restart of anything) you have access to the apps. This is a great way to check things out and try new apps but it will be a new way of working for many people.
There are still some apps that seem strangely normal. Stuff like Hotmail appp and even Google Reader app are exactly like a web page in any browser so I ma looking forward to seeing these change over time.
So this is it. The next version of the web has started. I can imagine if Steve Jobs ran Google he would have said that with Chrome web apps everything has changed again.