Chrome will revamp its forgotten apps menu, to match Edge

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Chrome browser tab ordering by keyb...
Chrome browser tab ordering by keyboard


Google Chrome has been able to save sites as app shortcuts for years, but the built-in apps page hasn’t been updated or improved in years. That could change soon.

The ‘Apps’ menu in Chrome, accessible from the bookmarks bar (if you haven’t disabled the button) or from chrome://apps, was originally created to organize web apps and apps from the Chrome Web Store. Google began phasing out apps from the Chrome Web Store in 2020, and web app shortcuts are now more commonly opened from the system app list: the Start menu on Windows, the Dock/Launchpad on macOS, and so on. As a result, the apps page hasn’t been updated in years and has an outdated design.

image of apps page in chrome
The current apps page in Chrome

Google is now working to overhaul the apps menu in Chrome, according to Chromium Gerrit information spotted by chrome story. The browser development team plans to add more options, including the ability to change what permissions a web app can access and quickly open settings for a given app (if available). There’s also an updated design with rounded app icons and more spaces, matching the look and feel of Chrome OS.

The new apps page will also improve multi-device management, similar to recent changes with web apps in Microsoft Edge. Chrome already syncs your list of installed web apps, as well as your browsing history and extensions, but they show up with a monochrome icon when they’re not installed on your current computer. It will still be easy to reinstall a web app shortcut (they won’t install automatically), and Google will add a menu option to uninstall a specific web app from all your devices.

images of the new applications page
Design mockup for new apps page Google

There is no specific timeline yet on when the new design will roll out to everyone. It will be available for testing first as a function flag, labeled “enable-desktop-pwas-app-home-page” in chrome://flags.

Source: Chromium, Google Docs
Via: Chrome Story