Apps chrome

“chrome://apps” is being revised to match your Chromebook launcher design

First discovered by About Chromebooks, Google is working on a visual and functional overhaul of Chrome’s “Apps” landing page. When you visit “Chrome://apps” on Windows PCs, you’ll be greeted with a paginated library of your installed web apps. These can also be seen on your Chromebook in the app launcher via the “All button”.

In its documentation for the update, the company says it wants to place them more on a grid with vertical paging bubbles in exactly the same way said launcher works on ChromeOS.

Apps scroll page by page like in Chrome OS

dWPA Launchpad UX

Additionally, new context menu options are added to the PWAs found on this page. For example, you can quickly access a new Google Docs, Sheet, or Slide by calling up that icon’s context menu and choosing those options. Again, this works identically in ChromeOS and Android devices.

I’m personally a big fan of this redesign, but I’m disappointed that it was removed from ChromeOS. Obviously, these PWAs can be accessed through the aforementioned launcher, but having them directly through the web browser would be great for anyone testing LaCrOS or using tab groups heavily. Hopefully in the future Google will bring back “Chrome://apps” for Chromebooks. Meanwhile, this new design for Windows, Mac, and Linux users is fantastic for bringing the user experience in line with its laptop operating system design.

What I found most interesting, however, is this screenshot below. What you’re looking at is a kind of discovery store for web apps right on that Chrome apps landing page. You might be thinking now, “Wait, Michael, the Chrome Web Store already has web apps that you can ‘install’ on your browser. Why do we need another one yet?

To this I will say this – you are absolutely right! However, I’ve talked a lot in the past about Google’s desire to revamp or replace the Web Store in favor of shipping web apps to the Play Store or creating a new cleaner, more reliable solution. Well, it looks like it could be that very solution!

With just one click on the “install” button next to each icon and list, you can add new web apps to your launcher or browser, and that’s awesome. Doing it through the Chrome Web Store right now means you’re browsing through a bunch of flash game sites, extensions, themes, and more. extremely outdated and crappy.


This further bolsters my bet that Google will push discovery of PWAs to this new location as well as the Google Play Store while considering where it will port browser extensions in a long-term effort to remove the Web Store altogether. I still believe the Google Store — yes, the company’s hardware store — will one day be home to themes, extensions, web apps, games, and more as it seeks to kill off the Play brand.

We’re already seeing movies and TV shows move to the Google TV app, music left the store years ago in favor of YouTube Music, and I’m willing to bet games, books and books audio will all be migrated to their respective apps in the future as well. With this, the only thing that will exist on the Google Play Store would be Apps and Web Apps. I don’t think that’s enough to justify having a separate Play-branded store, and for that reason I think it would make more sense to put all of that in the mix with its hardware under the umbrella of “The Google Store”.

Call me crazy now, but we’ll all come back to this in a few years realizing I called it way in advance. Anyway, this redesign and discovery section of the Chrome Apps landing page has me extremely excited for the future, and I’ll have fun with it as soon as I can.