Google Killed Chrome Apps, But You Can Easily Make Your Own

If you live in Chrome the way live in Chrome (which is basically all the time) but also appreciate running webapps in dedicated windows for better multitasking, Applicationize is a killer tool to have in your toolbox.

It can turn any website into a full Chrome extension, allowing you do to things like open in its own window or pin it to the taskbar. It effectively re-adds the webapp functionality that was removed from Chrome for Windows and Mac some time ago, but it’s also super useful on Chrome OS too!

Using the tool is about as simple as it gets. Head over to Applicationize to get started.

First, drop the URL of the site you want to run as an app into the first step, then click the “Generate & download Chrome extension” button.

Note: You can also set a custom image as the app icon, change the title, override the user agent, change the window frame color, and grant specific permissions under the “Advanced” button.

You should get a warning that Chrome can’t install the extension (apps/extensions that aren’t in the Chrome Web Store are blocked from auto-installing now), but the extension will still download to your system’s default download location. Just click OK to dismiss this.

From there, open the chrome://extensions page and toggle the Developer Mode button in the upper right corner to the ON position.

Drag and drop the downloaded extension onto the page. You’ll get a verification dialog box, but after you click the Add button it should quickly install and be added to the Chrome app launcher. You can find the app launcher at chrome://apps/.

Note: If it tries to re-download the extension instead of installing it, try closing the Extensions page and re-open it.

At that point, you can right-click on it and choose “Create Shortcuts” option to add it the desktop.

With that, you can do anything that you’d normally do with an app shortcut—like add it to the taskbar. Your new app will launch in its own window, sans URL bar and the other Chrome fluff, making it feel very native, regardless of what system you’re running. Super cool.