Chrome packaged apps are one of the most exciting upcoming platforms that may take Chrome to a whole new level. However packaged apps at the moment are not available on Chrome Stable’s Web Store, making it difficult for enthusiasts to try them out.
The Problem with Dev Channel
Chrome packaged apps are installable on recent stable builds of Chrome. However, to be able to browse through them in the Web Store, you need to be in Dev or Canary Chrome builds. The only issue with switching to Dev Channel being that it replaces your existing Chrome Stable installation. In case you do not want to mess around with your stable installation, this can be an issue.
Try Chrome Canary build
Chrome Canary builds are nightly builds of Google Chrome, which means they are even more bleeding edge than Dev Channel builds. The greatest advantage of choosing Canary against the Dev channel is that you can have it installed along with your stable Chrome. We highly recommend this setup compared to other Chrome channels.
Download: Chrome Canary Build
While theoretically Chrome Canary builds can be the most volatile ones, in our thorough testing we barely encountered any issues. This is largely due now robust Chromium codebase
Accessing Chrome Packaged Apps Once Installed
The current lot of packaged apps is numbered as the Packaged apps section is restricted to the Dev and Canary sections of Chrome Web Store. However, the quality of apps is really good across the board. Expect dramatic soar in the numbers once Chrome Stable gets packaged apps in the web store.
Installing Packaged Apps on Stable Chrome
Basically, Chrome Stable has full support for all current packaged apps listed in Chrome Canary. Hence in order to get your favorite app in Chrome Stable, all you need is to paste the Web Store link from Chrome Canary for your app.
Chrome Canary for now installs Chrome launcher by default letting you easily access all your Chrome apps. Alternatively, you can just search for the installed app in Windows Start Menu / Start Screen. You can also remove packaged apps directly from the launcher without starting Chrome.
Feature Landing on Chrome Stable?
There is no specific release when Packaged apps are coming to Chrome Stable as a feature. While Chrome 29 Beta just brought a ton of new capabilities for Chrome packaged apps, Web Store Integration might be landing in Chrome much later. Until then you can enjoy testing packaged apps in Chrome Canary. Let us know your experience!