Creating a Bookmark as a Chrome App

cghs_chrome_appI published my first “app” to the chrome web store today (I use the term app loosely).  When installed, it allows the user one-click access to the Cary-Grove High School web page.  Your first question may be “Why?”.

  1. It provides another avenue to your users for accessing important services.  Bookmarks are effective for some users, others prefer to have Chrome open to a predefined set of URLs.  Alternatively, providing a Chrome app allows one-click access from the new tab page for those who want that option.
  2. Apps can be easily pushed out using the Google Apps Control Panel.  While I’m unlikely to force this specific application on my users, this can be useful in several other scenarios.  For example, if I’m a Google Apps for Business customer and my accounting department are all heavy users of a cloud-based accounting system, I could  pre-install an app to their Google account that links directly to that service.  From the first time they log into Chrome, the app will be at the ready on their new tab page.

Google has several good tutorials for creating apps for the Chrome Web Store; I used this one.  A few things to know before if you want to make an app similar to mine:

  1. You’ll need to verify your site with Google Webmaster Tools.  Verifying a site proves that you have ownership of the site.  There are several options for site verification (I used a meta tag).  More information on site verification can be found here.
  2. You need to use the same Google account to verify your site that you are going to be using to publish your application.
  3. If this is your first app, you’ll need to pay a $5 fee to become a registered developer.
  4. You have up to 16,000 characters available for a detailed description.
  5. You’ll need to provide some graphic elements (full details).  At minimum you’ll need:
    1. one 128x128px icon (your app icon)
    2. one 1280x800px (preferred) or 640x400px screenshot
    3. one 440x280px promotional image

The process was very straightforward.  If you have any questions or comments, leave them below.  Good luck on making your first app!

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