Google's Progressive Web Apps will replace Chrome Apps next year

Mindy Sparks
December 7, 2017

That's the question which users have been debating ever since native apps first made their debut.

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. In the post, Google said that "approximately 1 percent of users on Windows, Mac and Linux actively use Chrome packaged apps". 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. Google has started sending out emails to Chrome app developers telling them that Chrome Apps are deprecated, and while previously installed apps still work, the functionality will be stripped out of Chrome in Q1 2018. Both were desktop-only features, and now both will exist as Chrome OS-only features.


Google told developers via email the Chrome team is working to enable Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) that can be installed on the desktop. 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. As the web giant focuses on extensions and web apps, Chrome Apps are no longer available to download on the Chrome Web Store. Timelines are still rough, but this will be a number of months later than the originally planned deprecation timeline of "early 2018".

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. Chrome will not fully remove support for Chrome Apps on Windows, Mac or Linux until after Desktop PWA installability becomes available in 2018.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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