Google Inc. today unpacked a new type of application for its Chrome browser which the company said brings together the speed and flexibility of Web-based services and the functionality of installed software.

The new apps, which Google calls “packaged apps,” can use and store data online and enables users to save to and retrieve documents from Google Drive and other cloud storage services.

“Think of apps designed for your desktop or laptop, that are just like the ones for your phone and tablet,” wrote Erik Kay, engineering director for Google in his recent blog. “These apps are more powerful than before and can help you get work done, play games in full-screen and create cool content all from the Web.”

The first batch of apps is now available at the Chrome Web Store for Chrome OS and Windows users. Versions for MacOS and Linux will follow soon.

Kay said the new Chrome apps can do the following:

  • allow users to work or play even when they don’t have an Internet connection;
  • save documents, files, images and video in computer hard drive to Google Drive or other cloud services;
  • allow users to continuing working on a file from one desktop to another;
  • launch apps faster and easier from the desktop with the Chrome App Launcher;
  • receive updates automatically and unobtrusively;
  • enable users to interact with the USB, Bluetooth, digital cameras and other devices connected to their desktop.

The new apps also have no tabs, buttons or text boxes. This makes it easier for users to get into the app without distractions, according to Google.

Other features include: Pixlr Touch Up, for quick image touch ups and effects; and Wunderlist a simple to-do-list that features voice dictation and desktop notification functions.

User can take their Wunderlist task list with them from computer to computer as well as manage the list offline.


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