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Google brings its desktop-style Chrome Apps to the Mac

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Chrome Logo

Back in September, Google rolled out Chrome Apps — not to be confused with the lightweight Chrome OS and Chrome browser apps, these were more fully fledged applications that look and feel more like native apps and have full offline support. At first, they were only available for Chrome OS and the Chrome browser for Windows, but now Mac users can try these apps out. When installing a full Chrome App, a new app launcher is added to your dock — it resembles the app launcher in Chrome OS and differentiates between web links (for tools like Gmail, Google Play Music, and other traditional Chrome browser apps) and full Chrome Apps.

While many of these new Chrome Apps still largely resemble their web counterparts (the Pocket app, for example, is essentially the same thing you'll see in the browser), the apps differentiate themselves by having access to local storage. Pocket downloads all of your content so it can work offline, while the turntable simulator Until AM can access your local music files as well as anything stored in your Google Drive. Chrome Apps are even grouped as distinct programs separate from the Chrome browser, making them feel more native than older Chrome apps. While it seems unlikely that these new Chrome Apps will fully displace true desktop applications any time soon, they're still a nice additional feature for those who use Chrome on the Mac. If you want to check it out, Chrome Apps are available now.