Google shuts Chrome apps for Mac and Windows

Enlarge  The Chrome Web Store

Well, almost a year-and-half later Google has completed the job and now, Chrome browser will not be able to access or install any apps from the store.

After announcing it a year ago, Google has finally removed the apps section from its Chrome Web store on Mac, Windows and Linux Platforms. PWAs can work across multiple browsers even on mobile devices, and can deliver an app-like experience to desktop websites. "There are two types of Chrome apps: packaged apps and hosted apps", Google explained in a blog post from past year. In the post, Google said that "approximately 1 percent of users on Windows, Mac and Linux actively use Chrome packaged apps". Extensions are also installed through the Chrome Web Store and usually live next to the address bar as buttons. Google has started sending out emails to Chrome app developers telling them that Chrome Apps are deprecated, and while previously installed apps still work, the functionality will be stripped out of Chrome in Q1 2018. Additional enhancements to the Chrome apps platform will apply only to Chrome OS devices, including kiosks. Some packaged apps were able to take advantage of USB-connected hardware, but if Google's figures are right, it seems like not many people cared for them. Developers can continue to build Chrome apps (or Android apps) for Chrome OS. Hosted apps function mostly like webpage bookmarks which could be conveniently pinned across parts of the user interface.

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Google removes apps from Chrome web browser.

Another great thing about Progressive Web Apps is that it's not exclusive to Google's Chrome web browser because it uses all existing W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) standards. In a message Google recently sent to developers (via Android Police), Google said that it was now working to bring Progressive Web Apps to desktop and that it was targetting a launch date of mid-2018.