Google Shuts Down Chrome Apps From Web Store, Moves to PWAs

Enlarge  The Chrome Web Store

Google has shut down the "app" section of the Chrome Web Store for those platforms, meaning you can't install Chrome Apps anymore. Chrome Remote Desktop has been a nifty tool for years, and now Google is bringing it to the web for handy access. Also, it's worth noting that users will require this web portal if they are not on Chrome OS.

As Google explained in its blog post a year ago, Chrome apps are being killed because no one uses them.

The Google Chrome extensions, however, won't be affected and will stay accessible for all for now. "In early 2018, users on these platforms will no longer be able to load Chrome apps". The search giant, in August 2016, said that just 1% of the Chrome users on Windows, Mac and Linux used Chrome apps actively. Hosted apps function mostly like webpage bookmarks which could be conveniently pinned across parts of the user interface. This is the plug-in point for password managers, script and ad blockers, mail checkers, and even the occasional fully fledged app, like Google Hangouts for Chrome.

With the removal of Chrome apps, Google wants developers to start adopting Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) for Mac, Linux and Windows PCs. "Another update will be posted here when a new date for the Chrome Apps EOL on Windows, Mac, and Linux has been finalized".


While Progressive Web Apps are being held up by many in the industry as the next wave of application development, they appear to be a solution looking for a problem which was already solved by running Android apps on ChromeOS. These apps are installable and bring features like push notifications, immersive full-screen experience and more. PWAs already work on Samsung's own web browser on its Android smartphones and Android versions of Firefox and Opera.

As explained in the report, there were two broad types of Chrome apps available to users.

Google removes apps from Chrome web browser.

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