True to its word, Google shut down its Apps service form the Chrome Web Store on all platforms except Chrome OS as was promised a year ago. The user of Windows, Linux and Mac will not be able to access or install any apps from the store. The Web Store will only have options for Extensions and Themes available for download.
The Chrome Apps didn’t work the way Google wanted to – in over three years time it had only “approximately 1 percent of users on Windows, Mac and Linux actively using Chrome packaged apps and hosted apps.”
Google, in a blog post, said that by early 2018, Chrome apps will be null and instead be replaced by recently-launched Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) that was rolled out on Android earlier this year. PWAs is a new way for search-giant to bring a few app-like features to websites, they will have a full-screen interface, an “installable” app icon, push notifications, and offline capabilities.
“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.” said an update on the blog post.
Google also recommended developers on other platforms to consider switching to their APIs to extensions or platforms like Electron or NW.js.
Chrome apps, from here on, will remain supported and maintained on Chrome OS for the foreseeable future. Additional enhancements to the Chrome apps platform will apply only to Chrome OS devices, including kiosks. Developers can continue to build Chrome apps (or Android apps) for Chrome OS.