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When looking through my Chrome extensions list (chrome://chrome/extensions/), I noticed that some of the apps I have installed have also installed themselves as extensions.



Here is the Google+ Webstore page:

Google+ Webstore page, showing installed app

It mounts its self as and app as you would expect on the "New Tab Page":

Google+ App Icon

However, I noticed on the extensions page, it is there too:

Google+ on the extensions page

The View Website link on the extensions page for Google+ just takes me to the store page and the extension installs and uninstalls with the app, leading me to believe that it is just part of the app.

What I want to know is, what do they do for the app? I was thinking it might be something like offline synchronisation, however Google+ does not have this feature as of yet to my knowledge.

Exactly the same issue happens with the app Scratchpad

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These are what Google calls hosted apps. More often than not, they're just pointers to the website, often placed for discovery and publicity. – Sathya Oct 4 '12 at 10:28
@Sathya, But there are still differences in behavior between hosted apps. Why is this so? See – Pacerier Jun 8 '15 at 21:06
up vote 0 down vote accepted

For some apps their functionality requires that they have a presence while you use the browser for other sites. For example, if you want to share a picture with Pinterest app/plugin, the app needs to scan for pictures and add the context menu or icon for the user to be able to tag them. This link might be of some help for apps v.s. extensions.

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Thank you for the answer. The Google Developers link was perfect. – njallam Oct 4 '12 at 14:32

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