Do you have the Chrome App Launcher for the Windows desktop? This is a button that sits on the taskbar and it enables you to run browser-based apps more easily. If you don’t have it, here is how to install it. If you have it, there are some very useful hidden features you can put to good effect.
Install Chrome App Launcher
Of course, you need Google Chrome Web Browser and one advantage this has over other browser is the way it can be extended. Go to the Chrome Web Store and browse the For Your Desktop section. Install any of the Apps, Google Keep is a useful one, and the Chrome App Launcher is added to the taskbar on the desktop.
Launch Chrome apps
Click the Chrome App Launcher icon and not only is the app you installed listed, there are several other apps too. A whole collection of useful apps is accessible from the Chrome App Launcher. Click an app and it starts in a window on the desktop. This is usually a Chrome browser window, but it does not have to be and Google Keep, for example, looks like a regular application.
Hidden features in Chrome App Launcher
You may not have thought to right click the app icons in Chrome App Launcher and if you try it, you will discover a useful menu. For example, you can choose the look and the app can open in a new tab, a pinned tab, as a window or maximised. Select one and then click the app to open it. The Open as window option is an interesting one and there is no browser address box, no toolbar, no tabs, just a regular window and it makes the web app look more like a desktop app.
There is an Options menu item and for apps that have options, such as Gmail, it takes you to the options page where you can customise it.
If you install a lot of apps from the Chrome Web Store you might want to think about organising them because a random collection of icons is not very user friendly. Apps can be clicked and dragged into a new position and this enables you to change the order in which they appear. Put your most used apps at the top.
Another way to organise apps is to create folders. This enables you to group similar apps together, such as photo and paint apps. Click and drag one app icon and drop it on another to create a folder. Now when you want to access an app, you click the folder and then click the app. Folders can be named and you just click the folder to open it, then click the Unnamed Folder text at the top. Type in the name for the folder.