Google's Progressive Web Apps will replace Chrome Apps next year


"There are two types of Chrome apps: packaged apps and hosted apps", Google explained in a blog post from past year. The company explained that it made a decision to shutter apps from the Chrome browser simply because not a lot of people were actually using them.

The Chrome Web Store is still showing Chrome Apps for Chrome OS users at this time, but Windows, Mac and Linux users are not seeing any apps or games - though it's understood you can still link directly to the apps themselves for now. Additional enhancements to the Chrome apps platform will apply only to Chrome OS devices, including kiosks.

More than a year after the announcement, Google Chrome is finally pulling the plug on its "Apps" section from the Chrome Web Store on Mac, Windows, and Linux platforms. These extensions, also available through the Chrome Web Store will be right where there were accessible from previously. By early 2018, Chrome apps that are already installed on the Google's browser will no longer work.

For Chromebook users, or ChromeOS users chrome apps will continue to work there and you will get regular updates from the app developers. 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. Chromebooks are already capable of running some Android apps and apps on the Chrome browser would seem redundant.

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The company explained its intention to do away with apps a year ago, and as we noted back in August when it officially announced its plans, only about 1 percent of Windows, macOS and Linux users actually used Apps, so they've gotta go. People who use Chrome just for web surfing will be able to download extensions and themes. Most Android browsers including Opera, Firefox and the Samsung mobile browser support PWAs, so this looks like the way forward.

Progressive Web Apps are not Chrome-specific.

"We also recognize that Desktop PWAs will not replace all Chrome App capabilities", Google told developers (via ArsTechnica).

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