Google is killing Chrome Apps for desktops, for good


As announced earlier Search Engine Giant Google has shut down the Chrome Apps web Store all platforms. The company further added, "In the second half of 2017, the Chrome Web Store will no longer show Chrome apps on Windows, Mac, and Linux, but will continue to surface extensions and themes". Both app categories will now be accessible only on Chrome OS and not the desktop. There are two types of Chrome apps: "packaged apps and hosted apps", Google explained in a blog post from a year ago. Once this functionality ships (roughly targeting mid-2018), users will be able to install web apps to the desktop and launch them via icons and shortcuts; similar to the way that Chrome Apps can be installed today. However, the company then made a reversal on Chrome Apps as it announced in 2016 that it would phase out Chrome Apps on Windows, Mac, and Linux in 2018. The apps that have already been installed still work. 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. The major difference between chrome web apps and PWAs are the Progressive web apps are cross-platform and cross-browser, while the Chrome apps are limited to Google's browser. But when it does, it'll mean that PWAs are supported across Chrome and Android devices, which does make you wonder if that's the future of the splintered dual operating system.

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. These apps are installable and bring features like push notifications, immersive full-screen experience and more.

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This concept is already working on Android - via the Samsung browser, Firefox and Opera. Google expects that PWAs will be available on desktops come mid-2018. There's still no word on removing Chrome Apps from Chrome OS, though.