Google Shuts Down Chrome Apps From Web Store, Moves to PWAs

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While Google did mention at the time that it might take them up to Q1 2018 to strip out the program completely, the company has shut down the "app" section present previously on the Chrome Web Store.

Back in August 2016, Google had announced that it would remove apps section from Chrome Web Store across Windows, Mac and Linux platforms citing the reason that less than 1 percent of users were using them on the Chrome browser. It will wait until Desktop PWAs become available to install in 2018. "There are two types of Chrome apps: packaged apps and hosted apps", Google explained in a blog post from a year ago.

If you're wondering whether you'll miss out on much, don't worry: as Ars Technica noted, many Apps were essentially little more than bookmarks for webpages, with the added benefit of being able to access them from various parts of Chrome's interface. Additional enhancements to the Chrome apps platform will apply only to Chrome OS devices, including kiosks.

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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 Web Store will only have Extensions and Themes available for download starting Wednesday. "We have been investigating ways to simplify the transition for developers that depend on exclusive Chrome App APIs, and will continue to focus on this - in particular the Sockets, HID and Serial APIs". These applications which are already being rolled out for Chrome on Android and will function more like full-fledged applications with push notification capabilities and an installable app icon. Google says it's planning to bring PWA desktop apps to Chrome sometime in mid-2018. When Google's done working on PWAs on Android, the company could move forward by bringing it to other versions of the Chrome web browser.

Google had big plans for its progressive Web Apps.