The Chrome Web Store is a pretty good place to find web apps and extensions for the Google Chrome web browser. But sometimes you just don’t think to go to the store to look for an app and instead use a browse the old fashioned way: by entering URLs or search terms in the location bar.
But developer Mihai Parparita has come up with a nifty tool that helps you discover web apps for Chrome as you surf. It’s an extension called “There’s a web app for that,” and once installed, any time you visit a web site that also happens to have an associated app in the Chrome Web Store, a + icon will show up in your location bar.
Click that icon and it will take you to the Web Store page for that app to get more information or to install the app.
If you visit a page that has an app you’ve already installed, an icon will pop up letting you know that as well.
You might wonder why you would bother installing a web app instead of just visiting the web site — but many web apps offer different functionality. For instance, the official Weather Underground app provides regional weather forecasts as well as full screen photos of the area covered by the forecast. And the New York Times Chrome App offers a streamlined reading experience that’s much more magazine or newpsaper-like than the company’s homepage.