Saturday, 16 December, 2017

Google Removes Chrome Apps From Web Store, Shifting To Progressive Web Apps

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Kayla Schwartz | 07 December, 2017, 12:27

More than a year after the announcement, Google Chrome is finally pulling the plug on its "Apps" section from the Chrome Web Store on Mac, Windows, and Linux platforms.

With the removal of Chrome apps, Google wants developers to start adopting Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) for Mac, Linux and Windows PCs. Though you can still access the Extensions and Themes from the Chrome Web store.

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. They already work on Chrome for Android, so once Google is done here, PWAs would be the only Chrome app type to work across desktop and mobile.

Chrome OS users, however, will still be able to access them for the foreseeable future. "Another update will be posted here when a new date for the Chrome Apps EOL on Windows, Mac, and Linux has been finalised." said an update on the blog post. Additional enhancements to the Chrome apps platform will apply only to Chrome OS devices, including kiosks. Google hasn't announced anything yet for Chrome OS, but it's likely that Chrome apps might go away, too.

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Chrome for Android has already supported PWAs, and they aim to make the web feel like a native app.

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.

"We also recognize that Desktop PWAs will not replace all Chrome App capabilities", Google told developers (via ArsTechnica).

Google had big plans for its progressive Web Apps. Because of this, other companies are jumping on the PWA bandwagon: it works on Samsung Android phones in the Samsung browser, Firefox on Android, and Opera on Android.

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