November 21st, 2008
Many have theorised that Google Chrome is the first part of a ‘Google Internet Operating System’. The idea is that the only application you really need to run on your computer is your web browser – everything else is web based.
One feature in Google Chrome that demonstrates this paradigm is the ‘Application Shortcuts’. I like to keep GMail open all the time, so that I always have access to my mail. But when I’m looking at my mail, I don’t need an address bar, I don’t need access to Chrome settings, I just want to see my email.
This is what a Chrome Application Shortcut does. Opening an application shortcut brings up a new Chrome window, with no address bar, no bookmarks, navigation buttons, tab bar or Chrome settings buttons. As much of the window real-estate as possible is used to display the web page – and it really does seem like it is running as its own application.
So how do you create and use Application Shortcuts? Go the the web application you want to make a shortcut for, click on the Google Chrome ‘Page Options’ button (next to the wrench) and select ‘Create Application Shortcuts…’. You can then create a shortcut on the Desktop, Quick Launch Bar or in the Start Menu. Opening any of the newly created shortcuts will open your Web Application in a new window. It’s that easy!