iPad website applications using Chrome Application Shortcuts (Windows)

Screenshots to Start us Off

image image


Should work with V4 and who knows what other versions. The feature has been out for more than a year now.

Some Background Info

If you want to just do this, skip to the next section.

This is kind of pointless in my opinion, but sometimes you might prefer a more touch friendly interface. Then this would be the guide to follow.

This can be done for any webpage in Chrome (or Firefox), simply by spoofing the user-agent string. Note that not all webpages have had the iPad touches made to them yet. Remember to add quotes.

You can also skip directly to the iPad editions if you don’t like the application shortcuts. Skip to to the second last section and just use your browser. For Gmail you need the user-agent spoof.

The user-agent string for iPad is:

Mozilla/5.0 (iPad; U; CPU OS 3_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/531.21.10 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.4 Mobile/7B334b Safari/531.21.10

You ‘could’ just change all your Chrome user-agent strings to the iPad one to browse all sites in iPad mode, but I wouldn’t recommend it. So let’s just use Application Shortcuts.

How to Make an iPad Application Shortcut to Gmail

Step 1) Go into Gmail and make yourself an application shortcut

As shown below. You will need to modify these shortcuts later!

(my screenshot looks a bit different because my Chrome is already running under the iPad user-agent)



Step 2) Modify the shortcut(s) you just made

You’ll need to do this to every shortcut you made just now.

Right click on the application shortcut you have created with Chrome, and in the “Target” text field, input. We need to trim this because the user agent string is too long and you can just paste the ‘user-agent’ parameter as is without Windows cutting it off. If you replace the Gmail url (http://gmail.com) in the “Target” text field within the ‘app’ string to anything else you will launcher a different webpage as a web application:

"chrome.exe" --app="http://www.gmail.com/" --user-agent="Mozilla/5.0 (iPad; U; CPU OS 3_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/531.21.10 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.4 Mobile/7B334b Safari/531.21.10"


Now in “Start in” text field, make sure the the target location of Google Chrome is correct. Mine is:



Step 3) Launch!

Now just click that shortcut you modified.

If you did everything correctly, you will have the iPad version of Gmail!

More Links Mobile Edition

Some of these are just iPhone editions. Anyways I’m not here to make an extensive list.



Google Reader



Google Buzz



Google Calendar





Note that you can do this easily with Firefox via Addons, and can create applications in the same way. I’m not writing up another guide for that, but look up ‘user agent switcher’ and ‘firefox prism’. Might be a bit more complicated to get it working the same way.

User Agent Switcher Addon

Firefox Prism Addon (web apps for Firefox)


iPad User Agent String

User Agent Switch Discussion on Google Chrome Groups

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