Chrome Dev Ships With Two Chrome Web Store Games

Martin Brinkmann
Dec 21, 2010
Updated • Dec 2, 2012
Google Chrome

Us tech folks do not like bloat. Not when it comes to the operating system we use, but also not in the software that we use on the computer. Google Chrome up until now was a slim fast web browser. Sure, it lacked a few features but the rapid development pace of the Chrome development team added new ones all the time.

The dev team may have gone overboard with the latest additions to the latest Chrome 10 Dev released (see How To Remove Elements From Google Chrome’s New Tab Page). What happened? Google seemed to have started to like the idea of changing the default Chrome new tab page. First it was an advertisement for the Chrome OS Netbook which somehow cannot be hidden permanently, which in itself is ridiculous considering that it is shown to users from all over the world but only users from the US can apply for the beta test.

The latest addition is the apps section which is linked to the Chrome Web Store. The Chrome web store offers applications and games that can be installed and used. Google now thought it would be a good idea to ship two games with the Chrome browser.

Games? Yes, that is right. There is no prompt if the games should be installed, they are simply there. And while it is possible to uninstall them, it is likely that a lot of Chrome users find this behavior unacceptable.

I personally have another objection to this. It is bad enough that there is no dialog that asks the user whether those games should be installed or not. Even worse is the precedent that this could be. What if Google adds a trial for an application or game the next time, or an inappropriate application?

There does not seem to be a control available to block the behavior. On the other hand, this is only available in the dev version of the Chrome browser as of now. It will be interesting to see if the developers add the games to the beta and release versions of the browser as well.

What's your take on this? Let me know in the comments.


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  1. prowse said on December 30, 2010 at 1:33 am

    Adding to my last comment:

    Now, can anyone tell me how to log OUT of the Web App Store from within the New Tab?
    The only way I know of is to go back to the Web Store, then click Sign Out from the dropdown.

    (Did I just answer my own question?)

  2. prowse said on December 30, 2010 at 1:31 am

    Small addition: the article doesn’t mention that the games are only available if you are signed into the Webstore. Once signed out, only the “all users” versions of apps are visible to the casual Chrome browser user.

    The reason? Probably getting us ready for Google Profiles (and I don’t mean the Profile Pages – that’s different. I’m talking Browsing Profiles ala Firefox/SeaMonkey, just hopefully better)

  3. Joe said on December 22, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    Both of these “apps” are merely links to online games. You can verify this by loading each one and copy-and-pasting the URL into another browser.

    It’s more akin to an installer putting a shortcut to a website (like I believe Winamp used to do for eMusic) on your desktop than it is to surreptitiously installing software. Not that it’s completely defensible, but I don’t think that it warrants much concern.

    I’m not sure how I feel about Google’s approach to “webapps”, their deliberate effort to blur the lines between the pc/laptop and “the cloud” (in preparation for ChromeOS). All Chrome extensions do install something (Chrome does allow you to monitor which addons are running in the background with “view background apps”); most webapps are merely links as of yet, but some webapps do install something to your computer.

    1. prowse said on December 30, 2010 at 1:23 am

      and, as Joe probably knows, Most of the web “apps” are merely shortcuts to special areas of websites (most site-linked “apps” do go into a different area of the site, not merely the actual site).

  4. Bruce said on December 22, 2010 at 1:30 am

    Well, that sounds about right for Google. I personally don’t use chrome for privacy reasons. I use SW Iron for speed browsing, and Firefox for everything else. I tried to like Opera, but couldn’t get used to the tool bar layout, and couldn’t change it. As a Systems Administrator, I have always preferred and recommend Firefox.

  5. Jimmy B said on December 21, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    oh that’s why those things were there
    I thought my account got spoofed or hacked
    so I changed my passwords

    1. prowse said on December 30, 2010 at 1:21 am

      Same her – thought that, too, until I noticed that the site is https (which helped, at the time on a public wifi network, no encryption). I still changed the PW, but WTF Google?

  6. Dan said on December 21, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    As I see it, at best the games are bundled for free as a kind of “pre-beta testing” to see the kinks in its browser’s HTML5 rendering in real world machines and users. In that light, Google’s action, while still despicable, would make better sense. I hope they ditch these freebies when they release version 10 as stable.

    1. prowse said on December 30, 2010 at 1:28 am

      This measure is probably the only real saving grace allowing Google to “do this to us”; it is in the DEV version. I always keep that in mind (until this latest exception).

      However, this does – even for devs/beta users – have a Google Buzz “introduction” feel to it. Google REALLY needs to STOP doing that kind of crap. I havent heard any rumors that Oracle is going to kill OpenOffice any time soon, so Google should at least muse over their unannounced decisions.

      Although a good platform, I HOPE they don’t CHANGE too much. Change for its own sake is faulty logic.

  7. kalmly said on December 21, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    Here is my response: Opera.

    1. Urge said on December 21, 2010 at 5:24 pm

      You are right. Every browser is better than Chrome for a professional use.

  8. BobbyPhoenix said on December 21, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    I do hope they change it also. I/we use Chrome at the office, and having a browser come with games is just asking for trouble.

    1. Tagada741 said on December 21, 2010 at 5:21 pm

      It is not a secret that Chrome doesn’t respect your private life, neither your business activity

  9. Transcontinental said on December 21, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    As long as imposed, unnecessary items are (easily) removable, remains acceptable though irritating. Should crap be imposed on Chrome or elsewhere that it would be, immediately, without me.
    Sometimes don’t understand what Google is up to. Until now I accepted (and dodged whenever/wherever i could) Google’s authoritarism on the ground of what I perceived as the excellency of its products and the intelligence of the company : should either vanish that I would as well.

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