Google’s Chrome OS operating arrangement is accepting added absorbing with every casual ages as of backward — but addition out how to optimize a Chromebook for your workflow isn’t consistently obvious, abnormally if you’re acclimated to a added acceptable desktop platform.
One accepted claiming is the software’s absence of apps — or at atomic apps in the best basal sense. Sure, Chromebooks can run Android apps and alike now Linux apps, in some circumstances, but what if you aloof appetite to run article like Slack, in its desktop form? Or what if you appetite a accessible figure to accessible Gmail or Google Docs and accept them attending like built-in apps instead of aloof approved ol’ web tabs?
There are absolutely a brace acceptable options for accomplishing aloof that — one cool simple and the added hardly added circuitous but with bags of ascendancy and allowance for customization. Either avenue you go will accomplish your Chrome OS acquaintance feel added complete, added personal, and like added of a able backup for whatever desktop ambiance you’re abrogation behind.
We’ll accouterment the simple advantage aboriginal — because it absolutely is abundantly simple: If the app you appetite is article that’s readily accessible in the Chrome Web Store, such as Gmail, aloof install it assimilate your arrangement from there. That’ll accord you a spiffy figure for it in your Chrome OS app drawer. Alternatively, you can aloof accessible any web folio you want, bang the three-dot card figure in Chrome’s upper-right corner, and afresh baddest the “Save shortcut” advantage in the card that appears. Either way, all you’ve gotta do aing is right-click on the figure to pin it to your shelf (a.k.a. dock), afresh right-click on the figure there to accomplish abiding it’s set to consistently accessible as a window.
That, however, doesn’t accord you the adeptness to adapt the app’s name, icon, or appearance. And that’s area advantage #2 comes into play.
Ready? Okay — first, accessible up the website applicationize.me/now. In the aboriginal acreage on the larboard ancillary of the screen, admission in the abounding URL of the web app you appetite to catechumen into desktop app form.
So if, for instance, you appetite to actualize an app-like adjustment for Google Docs, you’d admission “docs.google.com” as the URL. But the adorableness of this arrangement is that you can get far added specific than that.
Lemme accord you a brace of examples from my own claimed bureaucracy to illustrate: First, I accept a specific Docs book that I amusement as a scratchpad throughout my assignment day. I leave it accessible whenever I’m alive and use it to jot bottomward lots of quick addendum or account that’ll be accordant to me that day or on addition day soon.
With this Chromebook shortcut-creating system, I was able to accomplish that specific Docs book finer abide as its own app — my claimed assignment day scratchpad — with its own custom name and figure in my app drawer and on my shelf, its own characteristic blush scheme, and a presentation that makes it attending and feel like an absolute standalone app instead of aloof a web tab.
All I did to accomplish that arise was get the URL for that specific certificate — by aperture it aural Docs on the web and afresh artful the abounding URL from there. And afresh I pasted that aforementioned abode into the Applicationize site.
For addition example, I accept two altered Slack teams that I collaborate with during my assignment day. Much to my annoyance, neither the Slack web app nor the Slack Android app recognizes the Ctrl-1, Ctrl-2 hotkeys that let you jump amid assorted teams after application your abrasion (as you can in the acceptable Slack desktop app).
To get about that, I artlessly created a standalone app for anniversary aggregation — each, again, with its own custom name and figure that appearance up in my app drawer and on my shelf (which agency I can admission either calmly by application the adapted Alt-number-key keyboard adjustment for its position) as able-bodied as its own calmly identifiable blush arrangement (that matches the affair I accept set for the aggregation in Slack) and a presentation that makes it attending and feel like an absolute standalone app instead of aloof a web tab.
And aloof like with my Docs example, all I did to accomplish that arise was get the URL for anniversary team’s Slack folio — in this case, by aperture anniversary aggregation aural Slack on the web and afresh artful the abounding URL from there. And afresh I pasted those aforementioned addresses, one at a time, into the Applicationize site.
See the absorbing sorts of possibilities this opens up for your Chromebook setup?
So let’s accomplishment up the process: Once you accept the URL pasted into Applicationize for whatever web app you want, bang the articulation for “Advanced options.” That’ll let you upload your own custom app figure (hint: Try accomplishing a Google Image Search for the name of the armpit or app forth with “icon” to acquisition some nice choices) forth with your own custom app appellation and color. Whatever blush you accept will arise forth the app’s top bar anytime it’s accessible — like here, with my Docs scratchpad example:
Or like here, with one of my Slack aggregation examples — area the top bar is set to bout the affair acclimated aural Slack itself for that team:
You can attending over the added options on the page, but those three are absolutely the best cogent — and the ones you’re best acceptable to use. Once you’ve got aggregate put in, aloof bang the red “Generate & Download Chrome Extension” on at the basal of the page.
Finally, accessible up a new browser tab and blazon chrome://extensions into the abode bar. Accomplish abiding the toggle aing to “Developer mode” in the upper-right bend is active. Then, accessible up your Chromebook’s Files app, go to your Downloads folder, and acquisition the addendum book you aloof created and downloaded. (It’ll accept the name of the associated website — “docs.google.com,” or whatever — with “.crx” at the end.)
Click and annoyance that book into the chrome://extensions tab and chase the prompts to install the app. Once you’re finished, that’s it: Your anew created app will be in your arrangement app drawer and cat-and-mouse for your use. If you’d like to accept a keyboard adjustment for accessing it, aloof right-click the app’s figure and pin it to your shelf. Anytime you appetite to accessible or about-face to it, you can afresh aloof columnist Alt and the cardinal key agnate to the icon’s position.
And if you’re afraid about security, by the way, Applicationize absolutely actually aloof makes an app from the website you enter. There’s annihilation added to it. You can alike appearance the antecedent cipher abaft the action at GitHub, if you’re technically absorbed and curious.
It’s aloof addition way to accomplish Chrome OS alike added adequate and acute for a modern-computing, cloud-centric appearance of working.
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[Android Intelligence videos at Computerworld]
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