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Summary:

Want to bookmark a website in Chrome and “pin” it somewhere? You can’t just yet, but this experimental feature shows how it could be done in the future.

Amazon hosted app

A common complaint about the Chrome OS user interface looks to be getting addressed. Google’s
François Beaufort pointed out a new experimental feature in Chromium that lets users save a website shortcut to the Chrome App Launcher. The feature can be enabled in the developer channel of Chrome OS, Chromium and in Chrome Canary.

I reverted my Chromebook Pixel from the Stable to Dev channel to check this out and it works as advertised. After typing chrome://flags in my address bar, I enabled the enable-streamlined-hosted-apps option. Now, whenever I want to save a site shortcut to the App Launcher, I simply click the “Create App from this website” option under the Tools menu. Here’s one I created for Amazon, now in the bottom left of my launcher:

Amazon hosted app

Clicking on the new Amazon icon takes me to a new Chrome window for Amazon but it’s more like a standalone browser window — similar to a Chrome app — than a traditional browser tab.

While the Chrome browser still has traditional bookmarks, this potential feature would be a nice addition; and not just for web sites. Web apps that you don’t install through the Chrome Web Store are another good candidate.

This approach certainly isn’t new: I remember using Prism and Fluid to do this in 2007. Since Chrome OS doesn’t have a traditional desktop to store shortcuts for sites and web apps, it will be nice to see the function accomplish the same in the App Launcher.

  1. Great article! Kevin, Chrome Web Store used to have tons of apps that do nothing but provide a shortcut to a website, this upcoming feature beats them all!

    Speaking of bookmarks, there is actually an automatic way to manage your bookmarks on Chrome (with a focus on shopping), a Chrome extension called BookmarkMatic for Shoppers: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/bookmarkmatic-for-shopper/icladpgomfaknlkhalkkookhijdddbcb

    BookmarkMatic for Shoppers automatically converts, organizes and sorts your shopping browser history into bookmarks. You may sort your history / bookmarks on site level as well as link level after drilling down within any site. It currently supports 700+ shopping related sites with Alexa top 10000 traffic rank around the globe. These sites cover end-to-end shopping needs including online shopping, offline shopping, shopping guide, automobile, real estate, travel, and even betting and gambling.

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  2. You should mention that if you prefer have it open as a tab instead of a window, you can right click on the app icon to change that.

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  3. cac1031, thanks for mentioning that. That was a concern of mine as well.

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