Chrome Apps are dead, as Google shuts down the Chrome Web Store section
07 December, 2017, 12:28
Google has started following through on their plan to kill of Chrome Apps for Windows, Mac and Linux users by shutting down (or at least hiding) the Chrome Web Store Apps section for those platforms.
The email confirms that Chrome Apps will not be found anymore for users on Windows, Mac, and Linux, because Google intends for Progressive Web Apps to replace Chrome Apps.
As spotted by Ron Amadeo over at Ars Technica, an email is being sent out to developers in which Google re-iterated what it said last August about Chrome Apps being scheduled to stop working on Windows, Mac & Linux in Q1 2018. Which app did you use most on your chrome browser? Both app categories will now be accessible only on Chrome OS and not the desktop. It'll be interesting to see if people care to adopt these once they're widely available. The company in its blog post states that this was a step in direction of shutting down the standalone Chrome apps that nobody really downloaded for their browsers.
Google on Wednesday made good on its promise to rid of Chrome Apps. 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.
For Chromebook users, or ChromeOS users chrome apps will continue to work there and you will get regular updates from the app developers. PWAs can work across multiple browsers even on mobile devices, and can deliver an app-like experience to desktop websites. PWAs aren't exactly a "standard" but are a catch-all phrase for a combination of existing W3C standards like a Web app manifest for app icons and service workers for push notifications and background updates. PWAs already work on Samsung's own web browser on its Android smartphones and Android versions of Firefox and Opera. Google expects that PWAs will be available on desktops come mid-2018.