Google announced that it will soon end support for Chrome apps on Windows, Mac, and Linux, the apps will remain on the Chrome OS, however.
Starting later this year, new Chrome apps will only be available to the users of Chrome OS. It means users using Windows, Mac and Linux won’t be able to access the new Chrome apps. However, existing Chrome apps will stay for all and can still be updated. The change is only viable for new Chrome apps, themes and extensions are not at all affected.
“All types of Chrome apps will remain supported and maintained on Chrome OS for the foreseeable future”, said Google in a blog post.
Google said the Chrome apps are of two types: hosted and packaged apps. Hosted apps are those which at present implemented as regular web apps, accessible to all users with an Internet connection. On the other hand, packaged apps are actively used by only 1% of users on Windows, Mac, and Linux. Google said over the next two years, it’ll eliminate support for hosted and packaged apps from Chrome on those platforms.
Google’s blog post suggests that the reason behind ending the support for Chrome apps is that they are increasingly unnecessary. According to Google, fully web-base apps are now capable of doing many things that packaged apps were good at like, sending notifications, downloading data so that you can use an app even when you are offline, or connecting to your PC’s webcam or any other hardware.
Google is going to phase out things slowly: by the second half of 2017 there’ll be no more Chrome apps on the Chrome Web Store for users on Windows, Mac, and Linux; and by the start of 2018, users will no longer be able to load Chrome apps on all those operating systems.
That provides developers plenty of time to make standard web apps and for users to search for alternatives. While some users may be bothered by the change, it doesn’t seem that Google will drop much in the way of functionality.
Google is encouraging app developers to change existing Chrome apps into web apps so that they can be used across various platforms.