One of Google Chrome’s unique features is the vast selection of installable web apps that you can add to your browser. Many of the “apps” in the Google Chrome Webstore get criticism for being nothing more than glorified bookmarks to a certain website, but these five actually provide useful features other than a pretty icon.

1. Google Books – The Google Books app has a clean, attractive interface for reading books in your Google Books library. The Google eBookstore offers millions of titles for purchase and close to three million free eBooks. Your library is stored in the cloud, but this app allows you to download any purchases for offline reading in your browser as well. Google eBooks will automatically sync page position across devices, including iPhone/iPad, Android, and Google Books compatible eReaders.

 

2. Chromapaper – I’ve always favored the Read-it-Later Firefox extension for it’s ability to download articles for offline reading on your computer, but this Chrome app lets you do that with Instapaper too. There are options to sync only specific folders, download article images, and even save your reading position. If you use Instapaper, you’ll love this app.

 

3. Tweetdeck – The newly revamped social media dashboard Tweetdeck has a solid Chrome webapp version, for those who don’t want to use the RAM-sucking desktop version or just prefer to run everything from their browser. Chrome Tweetdeck basically has all the features of Desktop Tweetdeck, including post scheduling, position sync across devices, and filtering by keywords or hashtags.

 

4. Weatherwindow by WeatherBug – This one-page display of current weather conditions through an open “window” is so much more fun than checking Weather.com! You can either have the window show the closest weather station’s camera image or a weather video that closely matches the current weather outside. Complete weather details are included and you can switch between tabs to see all your saved locations.

 

5. Numerics Calculator & Converter – Forgot to bring your calculator to class? This powerful webapp is both a calculator and converter that supports more than 140 currencies, and it works without an internet connection. It even lets you customize your Calculator with any custom functions and variables using JavaScript.

 

What Chrome web apps do you use? Let us know in the comments!