Well, according to Google, the App Launcher will be removed in July. So, you can still use it. But, you’ll soon get a notification that it will be going away. So, better get prepared. We used other app launchers on the Chrome Web Store and these are ones we found to be the best alternatives that will let you quickly access your favorite Chrome apps.
Quick Note: You’ll still be able to access the apps from the Apps option in bookmarks bar and chrome://apps URL.
1. Apps Launcher
Apps Launcher is one of the simplest alternatives to Chrome App Launcher on the Web store. Click on the extension icon and you’ll get all your installed apps well organized.
Well, if you use too many apps then you can choose to make the app icons smaller with no caption. To do so, right-click on the extension icon and hit options. Now, under Icon Size choose the second option – I like them smaller with no caption at all. Here’s how it looks.
Also, you can change the extension icon color in the settings itself. If you want to remove some app then just right click on the app and Chrome will ask you to remove it. It’s the simplest alternative you can use in replacement to the official App Launcher.
2. Omnibox App Launcher
Omnibox App Launcher is another simple extension that will let you quickly launch your favorite apps. So, as the name says it will let you launch apps from the Omnibox. You just have to type in apps and hit space/tab and then type in the name of the app that you’d like to open. It will show you suggestions as you type.
Awesome New Tab Page is not a dedicated extension to launch apps but it has the feature to launch apps from the new tab page. You just have to unlock the apps and widget and drag and drop them in the boxes where you want it to appear.
Also, there are tons of other features you can try out. You can completely customize the new tab page. It’s mostly used for widgets. There’s a search option too if you’ve got many apps installed.
Did Google Make the Right Move?
The App Launcher will fully work on the Chromebook with regular updates as claimed by Google in their blog post (linked in the intro). Many users are already pissed by hearing that it’s retiring and Google wants to march forward with its vision to simplify their products. So, did they make the right move? What do you think about the above alternatives? Let us know in the comments section.