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Google is Terminating Chrome Apps2 min read

Google recently announced its plan to kill off the Chrome Apps for desktops. Henceforth, users would only be

Google recently announced its plan to kill off the Chrome Apps for desktops. Henceforth, users would only be able to avail the Extensions and Themes features to customise their browser.

In a blog post Rahul Roy-Chowdhury, VP Product Management, said, “Chrome Apps will be removed from Chrome Web Store search & browse functions in mid-December 2017. Existing apps will continue to work and receive updates. The Chrome browser will continue to load packaged and hosted apps on Windows, Mac, and Linux beyond the previously announced deprecation timeline. Another update will be posted here when a new date for the Chrome Apps EOL on Windows, Mac, and Linux has been finalized”

Google had first announced its intention of discontinuing the apps back in 2016. The company, in its statement had said, “Today, approximately 1% of users on Windows, Mac and Linux actively use Chrome packaged apps, and most hosted apps are already implemented as regular web apps. We will be removing support for packaged and hosted apps from Chrome on Windows, Mac, and Linux over the next two years.”

However, Apps will still be available on devices like Chromebook that have a Chrome Operating System. They can be found in the Chrome Web Store.

Chrome apps are web applications that run on Google’s browser. The provided functionality like native apps across platforms using web technologies like HTML, JavaScript and CSS. Chrome Apps would run outside the browser, work offline, send notification, connect to hardware. The USP of Chrome Apps was that they were universal and would run on not only Chrome OS, but also on others like Microsoft, Mac, Linux. They did not require any additional work from the developers. However, since the time they were first launched in 2013, Google believes that the Web has evolved enough to support such apps and therefore, Chrome apps are no longer needed.

Users who depend on Chrome apps on OS other than Chrome OS would be advised to use the web apps in the browser. Google has also provided the developers a migration guide and enough time to make their apps web compatible. The company believes that Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) are the future of desktops other than Chromebooks. They want developers to use powerful new APIs like “service worker and web push” to build opulent PWAs that “work across multiple browsers.”

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