Monday, July 4, 2011

Chrome Web Apps... make your own

If you still using your default browser on Windows like Internet Explorer 6 then I feel for you. You really need to download Google Chrome. Like other modern web browsers it can be expanded with extension and apps available from Chrome Web Store and while those extensions can be not very perfect you may find some really great apps. Sure one of the popular is the Angry Birds game.

Chrome Apps is most times just a website bookmarks and it might be good idea to make one for your own website. You will only need to create and few site icons and manifest file.

And here is my manifest.json file:

  "name": "GintasDX Blog",
  "description": "Techonology and random blog",
  "version": "1",
  "app": {
    "launch": {
      "web_url": ""
  "icons": {
    "32": "32.png",
    "16": "16.png",
    "96": "96.png",
    "128": "128.png"
  "permissions": [

You need read a developers guide if you want to know what exactly each line does. Basically all you need is a 128x128px size icon and this sample manifest file. Finally you need to pack your extension using Chrome.

Start Chrome and push the wrench icon in the right upper corner. Go to Tools->Extensions....
Select the Developer Mode and press the Pack Extension button. In new dialog you need select the folder where you put an icon and manifest.json file .

Later just drag and drop the .crx file on Chrome browser window. You will see a some warning at the bottom,but since you are using your own extension you can press Continue without worries.

A dialog like this should appear:

After pressing Install you will have your custom app in a main
start page.

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