I was inspired to find out if anyone can create apps that works like the default Google ones that come loaded into Chrome. It turns out its pretty easy to create your own, all you need is the template and a custom icon.

The gotchas I found were that you need to have validated ownership over the URL you are trying to link to, so for me I ended up creating a group of private local extensions for sites and services I use all the time.

Using this guide from Google, you can create your own bookmark apps, it’s a nice way of personalising your browser without managing the most visited site list (which gets a bit boring!). You can just start with this eBay Chrome App example, open the manifest.json file in a text editor, change the name, description and URLs to your new destination.

To setup this new extension, open up Chrome, then go to the top right menu, tools, extensions, and select ‘pack extension’, then browse to the folder where your .json file is stored, and double click on the manifest.json. Then hit ‘pack extension’ and it will create a .crx file on your desktop.

Now you can simple drag and drop that file into the ‘extensions’ window to install it. Simple, personal and eye catching.