The Google Chrome Web Store has been active for several months (it launched in December, 2010) so I thought it would be worth discussing a little about it for the readers. For anyone that is not familiar with it, the Chrome Web Store is basically and online portal for downloading free and paid applications that run native applications on the Google Chrome web browser.
My first impressions of the Chrome Web Store are mixed. It obviously is trying to capitalize on the explosion of mobile app stores like the Android Market and Apple’s App Store. The problem is that, unlike the mobile app stores, the Chrome Web Store distributes apps for a web browser which is a much different experience than a mobile device. For many of the Chrome Apps, the “app” is really nothing more than a shortcut to the standard html website – it’s really just being masked as an “app”. I’m not really sure if it is worth all of the effort to develop an app which offers no real benefit over just creating my own browser bookmarks or shortcuts.
With that said, I still think there are several nice aspects of the Chrome Web Store that make it a worthwhile effort. Some of those reasons include:
Several apps are designed specifically for the Chrome browser and the Chrome Operating System (OS). In many ways it appears that Google developed the Chrome store specifically for Chrome OS. Three of my favorite native Chrome apps are the New York Times app, the Angry Birds app, and the TweetDeck app.
The Chrome Web Store also is a great medium to search for some of the very cool apps and web tools that are in the market (often times for free) today. There are literally thousands of apps in the web store that are grouped by common categories such as productivity, games, utilities, news, and entertainment. It would be very difficult to find all of these apps on your own
I also think it also offers developers another medium to get their products to the market. With the nice way that Google has integrated the Chrome Web Store into the browser, it makes for a nice experience. This is yet another way that the Chrome Browser is leaving Internet Explorer and Firefox in the dust in my opinion.
I think Google has done a nice job with their Chrome Web Store. It offers users a chance to explore thousands of new apps with ease and speed and integrates with the Chrome Browser nicely. I guess only time will tell if the “Browser App” catches on with users or if something else will come along.