After testing it in preview for almost three months, the new redesigned Chrome Web Store is now officially rolling out to the web. And with that comes a a new Material You facelift, new Chrome extension categories, simplified navigation and improved search. While the preview was on a separate URL during testing, you can now see the new Chrome Web Store for yourself at the standard address chromewebstore.google.com.
Overall, the new look Web Store doesn’t necessarily offer additional apps, extensions, or themes than before. It just organizes everything in a much better way and doesn’t seem to be stuck in 2010 anymore. So why is this an exciting thing?
Why the new Chrome Web Store refresh is exciting
Here’s the problem; I realize it’s possible you’ve never visited the Chrome Web Store. Be a online shop, whatever you can find there is probably also found at other URLs on the web. The shopping plugin you’re using or the theme you applied probably came about because you saw them on a website and decided to try them.
And the The Chrome Web Store has largely been this type of collection for a long time. Useful, but not really vital. But that 100% could change if Google chooses to put in the effort to achieve it. There are some fantastic PWAs out there right now that need to be in this store. There are also some big name extensions that should be listed here. And there’s probably even a way for Google to add apps that are in the Play Store, but install them as PWAs when doing so from a Chromebook.
My point is, there is some interesting information on the web that needs to be actively gathered in one place. I always dreamed that the Chrome Web Store could be that place, but web apps were too finicky and the Web Store too outdated to really be the answer. But Google clearly sees the need for the Chrome Web Store to continue to grow, otherwise they wouldn’t have bothered with this update.
And if they’re really willing to put in the effort, I can’t wait to see where it might lead. With a little strategic placement and marketing, the Chrome Web Store could become the go-to place to find great apps and PWAs, extensions and themes for Chromebooks, Windows and macOS too. That’s the great thing about the web: it works on all platforms.
But we need apps like Adobe Photoshop for Web, Corel Vector, CapCut Web Editor, Discord, WhatsApp, and more to be the face of this movement. What if users came to the Web Store and realized that there are all these fantastic apps that exist on the web, install in seconds, and work wonderfully on all sorts of devices? Perhaps we would see a greater increase in the adoption of web-based applications, and The Chrome Web Store would be a safe and secure place to find them all.
These are high hopes, but I think the web in general is finally able to realize such a dream; and the new Chrome Web Store could be the front-end entity that helps bring it to life. While it’s possible that this new redesign will just remain a simple plugin/theme delivery service, I really hope there’s more to it than that. It’ll take a little effort on Google’s part, but I yearn for a future where I can tell Chromebook users to just go to the Chrome Web Store to find all the best services and apps for their Chromebooks.