I have seen lately a concept of installing open web applications in Firefox and Google Chrome just like extensions here .

While the site says it as a installable websites. It looks very similar to bookmarks to me. When you click either bookmarks or this installed applications, it opens new tab and the site or application can be viewed.

My question is what is the main difference between normal web application like Gmail, or Super user or Facebook and these installable websites? Also what is the advantage in using this installable web apps from normal web applications which we can access by entering url in the browser address bar?

I hope this is the right place to post this question. If not please guide me accordingly.

If my question is not clear, please update me!


In many cases, installable web apps are just bookmarks. In Google Chrome they are called hosted apps.

In addition to just acting like bookmarks, however, web apps can take advantage of additional permissions when they are "installed". They can run in the background (for notifications when a browser window is not open, for example), use unlimited storage on the local computer, or have access to geolocation data.

Of course, all this depends on the web app developer actually writing the code to take advantage of these extra permissions.

  • Thanks for the answer. +1 for it. Only one question. Can I use this installable web applications offline? – Girish Mony Apr 8 '11 at 14:06
  • 1
    Again, that depends on whether the web app developer has added that functionality. – William Jackson Apr 8 '11 at 14:12
  • Great!! That clears my question. – Girish Mony Apr 8 '11 at 14:23

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