Chrome Apps support on web browser ends this year, 2022 for Chrome OS

JC Torres - Jan 15, 2020, 6:45 pm CST
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Chrome Apps support on web browser ends this year, 2022 for Chrome OS

Google is one company that doesn’t shy away from killing off products, whether or not people have become dependent on them. Sometimes, like with the case of Google+, the impact may not have been so severe. Other times, it sends users into a riot, like with Inbox by Gmail, Chrome Apps sit somewhere in between but, as always, Google’s word is pretty much final and users will have to bid farewell to these apps as early as June this year.

Chrome Apps are pretty much Google’s own mix of web apps and mobile apps, utilizing web technologies like HTML, CSS, and Javascript to create an experience that feels native on a platform. This strategy made sense back when the web apps landscape was still like the Wild West. It also made perfect sense in light of Chrome OS which did need an ecosystem of native-feeling web apps.

Those days are long gone now and web apps have become en vogue again, especially the ones called “Progressive Web Apps” or PWAs. In fact, Google is one of those pushing that platform forward as the new way to create apps that run on Web browsers (or at least web rendering engines) yet still have a comparable experience to native apps. In other words, PWAs make Chrome Apps redundant.

As such, Google has begun phasing out its own Chrome Apps in favor of more advanced web apps. Starting March this year, the Chrome Web Store will no longer accept new Chrome Apps. By June, Chrome will end support for Apps on Windows, Mac, and Linux, though Chrome Enterprise and Chrome Education users have until December to enjoy those unmaintained apps.

Things will happen more slowly for Chrome OS given how much it has depended on Chrome Apps. Support for end-users will end a bit later on June 2021 and then on June 2022, all Chrome Apps, whether for Enterprise or Education users, will no longer be supported.


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