A few months ago, Google announced new packaged apps for Chrome – apps that, while written in standard web languages, are available offline and can communicate with USB drives and Bluetooth speakers. In other words, to most end users, they look and act like any other normal app, except they are cross-platform compatible and always stay up to date.

However, until yesterday, you had to have a direct link for these apps in order to download them. This was to give developers a chance to create packaged apps and test them, before a more widespread public adoption could take place. But now, Google has opened up the Web Store a bit further, allowing anyone who is running the dev channel of Chrome OS, or the dev or canary builds of Chrome on the desktop, to search, find, and install Chrome packaged apps.

Even better, I have confirmed that these apps will automatically sync to any other Chrome devices or Chrome installations you have. For example, in my case, I downloaded some of these onto my Windows laptop running the canary version of Chrome, and they almost immediately appeared on my Chromebook Pixel, which is only on the beta channel.

Below, I’ve compiled a list of direct links of Chrome packaged apps for anyone who wants to try some of them out, but doesn’t want to change channels. This list is not exhaustive, and if there’s an app you know is out there but you don’t see on this list, just let me know and I’ll add it in.

You will see quickly that some of these apps are games, some are productivity apps, and some look  like developer experiments, just to find out what Chrome packaged apps are capable of doing. That’s why Google notes:

Many of these apps are works in progress, which is why we’re only making them easily available on Chrome’s dev channel. If you’ve written a packaged app, or are working on one, now is a great time to get some early feedback and polish your app before Chrome packaged apps become more broadly available.

So what are the apps I recommend you install, in order to get a really good feel for what’s coming soon in Google Chrome? My favorites from this list are The Economist, Spelunkly, Text, Touch Drawing App, and Weather Bug.

With that out of the way, here you go.

What are your favorites?

[Chromium]