Google announced Thursday that the world’s most popular web browser is going native, with Chrome apps landing on Chromebooks and Windows computers today. OS X and Linux should see native apps arrive in the near future. Chrome engineering director Erik Kay announced the news today—which also happens to be Chrome’s fifth birthday—describing a “new breed of Chrome apps” different from the ones currently available through the company’s own desktop OS.
The new Chrome apps work offline, and they don’t look like browser apps either, leaving out tabs, links and other distractions. However, they’re still connected to Google Drive, syncing your apps with the company’s cloud services, and update automatically and silently. They also sync with other devices attached to your computer via Bluetooth or USB. To top it all off, Google also introduced a redesigned Chrome App Launcher located in your taskbar.
In his blog post, Kay highlights several Chrome apps in particular, showing the range of what the new service can do. Pixlr Touch Up lets you edit photos, cropping, resizing and even adding effects. For organizing your life there’s Wunderlist, which helps you create a to-do list, works with voice dictation, and reminds you with desktop notifications. There are also plenty of games and more, all available through the Chrome OS Store.