Google quietly rolled out the Chrome Web Store last week and already we’re seeing some great new apps that add some very cool functionality inside the Chrome browser.
I’ve taken quite a bit of time scouring through the apps and have come up with five worthwhile apps that should help start you off and give you an idea of just what’s possible when a great web app comes to fruition.
The main problem I found with the Chrome Web Store is that there are a great many so-called apps that pretty much function as Chrome extensions.
That’s all well and good if you’re looking for an extension, but you don’t need to install an app that’s only purpose is to redirect you to a web app. That’s the main reason I wanted to publish this post and highlight these five apps, they go above and beyond and actually create exclusive app environments.
Click after the jump for a list of the apps.
Five Chrome Web Apps You need to download now
1) WeatherBug — View your weather and get the latest local current conditions, forecast and more for thousands of locations around the world with this web app designed to enhance your Google Chrome browser experience. Your Weather Window – Our virtual window to the world outside lets you view artistically rendered versions of current conditions for your location – from the comfort of your computer.
2) New York Times — Experience the award-winning journalism of The New York Times through the Google Chrome browser. The NYTimes app for the Chrome Web Store is a sophisticated HTML5 application that leverages advanced browser features to deliver a unique and compelling reading experience that can be read online or offline.
3) TweetDeck — TweetDeck is your personal browser connecting you with your contacts across Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare and Google Buzz. It brings together the power and flexibility of our award-winning desktop application, with a new cool and clear design, into an exciting new web app. Whether you are a social networking novice, or a technology powerhouse, TweetDeck will allow you to easily become master of your life online.
4) Todo.ly — Todo.ly is an intuitive and easy to use online Todo list, and Task Manager. It helps you to get organized, and to get things done.
5) Wikihood — With The Wikihood World Browser you can browse the world’s knowledge about any location worldwide. At a glimpse all the relevant information of the Wikipedia is visually accessible for any area of the world. For a single location Wikihood provides a synopsis of related person, cultural, economical and geographical information. Get all the information about your current or a remote location. Explore the wealth of the Wikipedia as you never did before.
This is by no means meant to claim these are the best five or the only five apps out there worth downloading. These apps will, however, give you a better idea of what to look for when you’re testing out new apps. Don’t fall for extensions passing themselves off as apps. Keep hunting until you find a legitimate app that does what you want it to do.
Bonus: Theme Recommendation
Chrome has offered a fairly wide variety of browser themes for a while now and it’s no surprise that they have a theme section in the Web Store. Generally I’m not a big fan of themes. One of the things that appeals to me is Chrome’s minimalistic, clean UI. I did however happen upon a theme in the Web Store that I’ve been test driving for a few days and I have to say I’m genuinely impressed. There aren’t any drastic color changes in the the theme, but what it does it does well.
Chrome Professional – Theme — Clean professional chrome finish for your Chrome browser! You may not notice much of a difference until you install it yourself but the changes are slick and subtle.
The Chrome Professional theme even comes with the option of installing fantastic looking new scrollbars to give the theme that little extra “oomph”. You can install them here.
So, what do you think? Do you have any favorite apps or themes you’ve been trying out? Don’t be shy, go ahead and share them with us in the comments.