Google to Phase Out Chrome Apps Across All Platforms

Tech giant Google has officially rolled out a timeline for the full phase-out of Chrome apps across all operating platforms within two years. The publication follows the announcement made by the company in 2016. Stating its plan to kill Chrome Apps in favor of the web.

As provided in a blog post published Wednesday, the Chrome Web Store is scheduled to stop accepting new Chrome apps beginning March 2020. During this phase, developers will still be able to update existing Chrome Apps until June 2022.

By March 2020, Chrome Apps will stop working on Windows, Mac, and Linux. However, customers who have Chrome Enterprise and Chrome Education Upgrade may ask for an extension of support up until December 2020.

Google to Phase Out Chrome Apps

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This will be followed by the scheduled termination of support for NaCl, PNaCl, and PPAPI APIs in June 2021. In the same month, support for Chrome Apps on Chrome OS is also scheduled to close down.

The timeline ends in June 2022, with the final shutdown of all Chrome Apps for all Chromebook users.

“This change does not impact support for Chrome Extensions. Google will continue to support and invest in Chrome Extensions on all existing platforms. Fostering a robust ecosystem of extensions is critical to Chrome’s mission and we are committed to providing a useful extension platform for customizing the browsing experience for all users,” the tech company explained.

Launched in 2013, Chrome Apps work as web applications that can be installed via the Google Chrome browser. In May that year, the apps were officially introduced and made available in the Chrome Web Store with the name “Packaged Apps” built with HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript.

The announcement of the plan to banish Chrome Apps in all platforms was first made by Google in 2016, stating that only 1% of users on Windows, Mac, and Linux were found to be actively using the Chrome packaged apps.

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“As we continue our efforts to simplify Chrome, we believe it’s time to begin the evolution away from the Chrome apps platform. There are two types of Chrome apps: packaged apps and hosted apps. Today, approximately 1% of users on Windows, Mac, and Linux actively use Chrome packaged apps, and most hosted apps are already implemented as regular web apps. We will be removing support for packaged and hosted apps from Chrome on Windows, Mac, and Linux over the next two years,” Google explained at the time.

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