Google kills Chrome Apps

Good riddance, Chrome apps. Google has officially wiped all Chrome apps for desktops from the Chrome Web Store, leaving only Extensions and Themes available for download. The company first explained why it is moving away from the Chrome apps platform last year, as it encourages developers to migrate to the web.

There are two types of Chrome apps: packaged apps and hosted apps. Google says today, there is around one percent of users on Windows, Mac and Linux actively using Chrome packaged apps.

Chrome apps however, are still alive and well on Chrome OS-powered devices like Chromebooks and these are accessible directly from their Chrome Web Store pages.

Google launched Chrome apps over three years ago to bridge the gap between software, hardware and web. There were certain experiences the webs just couldn’t provide at the time—from working offline, to sending notifications, and to connecting to hardware like USB devices.

But the web has evolved, and developers can now use powerful new APIs to build Progressive Web Apps that work across multiple browsers, making more conventional Chrome Apps, obsolete.

The Chrome Web Store no longer displays any Chrome apps on Windows, Mac, and Linux. Existing apps will still work and will continue to receive updates. In early 2018, these platforms will no longer load Chrome apps completely.

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Google encourages all developers across Windows, Mac, and Linux to migrate their Chrome apps to the web. It says that developers who cannot fully move their apps can help Google prioritise new APIs to fill the gaps. Developers can consider using a Chrome extension or platforms such as Electron or NW.js.

For now, the Chrome browser will continue to load packaged and hosted apps on all platforms. Another update will be posted on the Chromium blog once a new date for the Chrome Apps EOL is finalised.

VIA Chromium Blog


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