Google Formally Shuts Down 'Apps' Section on Chrome Web Store

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The removal of apps from the Chrome Web Store was actually first announced by Google back in August 2016.

After announcing it a year ago, Google has finally removed the apps section from its Chrome Web store on Mac, Windows and Linux Platforms.

According to Ars Technica, Google is directing developers towards a different way for desktop: Progressive Web Apps (PWA). 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. The company in its blog post states that this was a step in direction of shutting down the standalone Chrome apps that nobody really downloaded for their browsers.

At the time, Google announced that Chrome Apps are used by only 1% of Windows, Mac and Linux users.

The email confirms that Chrome Apps will not be found anymore for users on Windows, Mac, and Linux, because Google intends for Progressive Web Apps to replace Chrome Apps.

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What's more, Google confirmed that its PWA's wouldn't be able to offer the full range of capabilities that Chrome Apps can, but said it was "investigating" ways to make the transition easier for developers whose apps are reliant on the pre-existing Chrome APIs. PWAs aren't exactly a "standard" but are a catch-all phrase for a combination of existing W3C standards like a Web app manifest for app icons and service workers for push notifications and background updates. There's still no word on removing Chrome Apps from Chrome OS, though.

Progressive Web Apps are not Chrome-specific.

Users who have Chrome OS laptops won't have to worry since they will still continue to have access to Chrome apps for the foreseeable future, according to Engadget. 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 says it is "roughly targeting mid-2018" for PWA desktop apps.

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