Chrome OS and the Google Chrome ecosystem in general took a step forward today. Google released new Chrome apps that can function independently of the web browser. These apps can be found in a new category in the Chrome Web Store called “For Your Desktop.” This may not seem like a big deal since Windows and Mac OS X users have been running native applications forever. However, for the Chrome OS crowd, these apps finally help Chromebooks break away the stigma of being a glorified web browser. The list of supported applications is small at them moment, but more are sure to be added over time.
Depending on the functionality of the app in question, you may be able to access a particular app even if you’re not connected to the internet. For example, the 500px app won’t work in offline mode because it pulls photographs from the web. Pixlr Touch Up on the other hand can work offline because you can load photos that are stored locally. The apps also benefit from automatic updates and syncing across other devices.
The new desktop Chrome apps are only available on Windows and Chrome OS. Support for Mac and Linux is coming down the line.
Source [Google Chrome Blog]