Published: Thu, December 07, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Grace Becker

Google removes Chrome Apps from Web Store, pushes to PWAs

Google removes Chrome Apps from Web Store, pushes to PWAs

Google sees PWAs as the future, thanks to their superior offline capabilities, efficiency, and uniformity across platforms, but they're functionally similar to Chrome Apps, which are somewhat unintuitive by comparison. The company explained that it chose to shutter apps from the Chrome browser simply because not a lot of people were actually using them.

Google followed through: Chrome browser users will no longer be able to access or install any apps from the Chrome Web Store. There's still no word on removing Chrome Apps from Chrome OS, though. Chrome will not fully remove support for Chrome Apps on Windows, Mac or Linux until after Desktop PWA installability becomes available in 2018. Extensions are also installed through the Chrome Web Store and usually live next to the address bar as buttons.

The Chrome browser will continue to load packaged and hosted apps on Windows, Mac, and Linux beyond the previously announced deprecation timeline.

Google on Wednesday made good on its promise to rid of Chrome Apps. If only 1 percent of users used Chrome Apps when it was supported on the major desktop OSes, you've got to wonder how dead and abandoned the platform will be when it is only available on Chrome OS.

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With the removal of Chrome apps, Google wants developers to start adopting Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) for Mac, Linux and Windows PCs.

The users who are just using Google's Chrome browser to browse the internet website will still be able to download themes and extension, according to the Google's statement.

Progressive Web Apps are not Chrome-specific. According to a report by Ars Technica, Chrome applications which are already installed by users will continue to function for the time being but will be phased out come Q1 2018. PWAs already work on Samsung's own web browser on its Android smartphones and Android versions of Firefox and Opera.

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