Create a Chrome OS web app for any website

Chrome OS has a growing number of web applications available in the Chrome Store. However if there isn’t one available but you would like a icon for a web app in your App Drawer the following instructions will guide you through creating your own.

 

This example creates a web app for the TalkTalk email client.

 

1. Create a folder in “Downloads” to store the Web App.

 

2. Create a plain text file called manifest.json with the following text (I used ShiftEdit).

 

{

    "name": "Talk Talk Mail",

    "description": "Access Talk Talk Email Full Screen",

    "version": "10.0.0",

    "manifest_version": 2,

    "icons": {

        "128": "icon_128.png"

    },

    "app": {

        "urls": [“http://talktalk.co.uk”],

        "launch": {

            "web_url": "http://www.talktalk.co.uk/mail/"

        }

    }

}

 

Substitute the name, description and version to match your application. Change the URLs to match the website your app is for.

 

3. Create a 128 x 128 png file called icon_128.png, this will be the icon displayed in the App Drawer. Put this in the same folder as the manifest.json file.

 

4. Add the web app as an extension to Chrome (More Tools > Extensions). Make sure developer mode is selected and the top of the extensions page. Click “Load unpackaged extension”, navigate to your Web App folder and click open.

 

5. All being well your extension will appear in the list and the web app will appear in the App Drawer.

 

Note: These extension cannot be published on the Chrome Store unless you own the domain the URLs in the manifest.json file point too.

 

Chrome OS Hints and Tips

1. Press Alt + Search for caps lock.

2. Press Ctrl + Alt + Up Arrow for Home.

3. Press Ctrl + Alt + Down Arrow for End.

4. Press Alt + Backspace for delete.

5. Open apps pinned to the task bar using Alt + number corresponding to the location.

6. Enter chrome://transparency in the address bar to change window transparency.

7. Press Ctrl + Switch Window key to take a screenshot and Ctrl + Shift + Switch Window key for a partial shot.

8.Hold Ctrl when clicking the settings icon in Google Drive to display more settings.

9. Press Ctrl + Alt + T and type shell in the window to open a command prompt.

10. Press Esc + Refresh + Power button to enter developer mode on ARM Chromebooks.

11. During boot press Ctrl + i or Tab + i to display hardware information.

12. Type chrome://quota-internals/ in the address bar for detailed information on internal storage space.

13. When viewing pictures press E to quickly enter editing mode,

14. Type chrome://imageburner/ in the address bar to create Chrome OS restore media.

15. Type chrome://system/ in the address bar to show details system information.

16. Type chrome://net-internals/ in the address bar to display network information.

17. Tye chrome://flags in the address bar to show experimental settings.

18. Press Shift + Esc to display task manager.