Google removes Chrome Apps from Web Store, pushes to PWAs

With Chrome 63 businesses can also configure policies to restrict access to extensions based on the permissions required.               Google

With Chrome 63 businesses can also configure policies to restrict access to extensions based on the permissions required. Google

Google has started following through on their plan to kill of Chrome Apps for Windows, Mac and Linux users by shutting down (or at least hiding) the Chrome Web Store Apps section for those platforms. According to a report by Ars Technica, Chrome applications which are already installed by users will continue to function for the time being but will be phased out come Q1 2018. While Chrome Apps have now disappeared from discovery, they can still be downloaded with a direct link.

The web giant revealed in 2016 that it planned to phase out Chrome Apps in 2018. The email confirms that Chrome Apps won't be found anymore for users on Windows, Mac, and Linux and that Google intends for Progressive Web Apps to replace Chrome Apps.

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"The Chrome team is now working to enable Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) to be installed on the desktop". "Packaged apps", which were the more powerful applications which were capable of running in the background and could access ports on the device. These extensions, also available through the Chrome Web Store will be right where there were accessible from previously. Both were desktop-only features, and now both will exist as Chrome OS-only features. PWAs again aim to bring a few app-like features to websites, giving them a full-screen interface, an "installable" app icon, push notifications, and offline capabilities.

Support for Progessive Web Apps is becoming more available, with Microsoft building support for PWAs into Windows 10, and Apple is similarly building support for PWAs into Safari.

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