September 22, 2021
Google Chrome apps PWAs replacement

Google to Replace Chrome Apps with PWAs, Developer Email Reveals

Google Chrome Web Store apps will soon be replaced by progressive web apps as the search giant continues its push toward the new technology…

The Google Chrome Web store debuted in 2010. It offers apps, extensions, and themes which are neatly packaged for Chrome. Just over a year ago, Google announced it planned to phase out Chrome apps for Windows, Mac, and Linux by 2018. In a recent developer email, the search entity revealed it will transition to progressive web apps.

Google Replacing Chrome Apps with Progressive Web Apps, Developer Email States

For those unfamiliar, PWAs or progressive web apps are a Google initiative to combat app fatigue. PWAs work just like native mobile apps but do not require download. Plus, PWAs are not limited, they sport cross-platform and cross-browser support. So, they’ll work just about anywhere.

Here’s the email, quoted directly:

The Chrome team is now working to enable Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) to be installed on the desktop. Once this functionality ships (roughly targeting mid-2018), users will be able to install web apps to the desktop and launch them via icons and shortcuts; similar to the way that Chrome Apps can be installed today.

In order to enable a more seamless transition from Chrome Apps to the web, Chrome will not fully remove support for Chrome Apps on Windows, Mac or Linux until after Desktop PWA installability becomes available in 2018. Timelines are still rough, but this will be a number of months later than the originally planned deprecation timeline of “early 2018”.

We also recognize that Desktop PWAs will not replace all Chrome App capabilities. We have been investigating ways to simplify the transition for developers that depend on exclusive Chrome App APIs, and will continue to focus on this – in particular the Sockets, HID and Serial APIs.

Chrome for Android already supports PWAs. But, this move is interesting, as it gives the same treatment to outside properties.

Owen E. Richason IV

Covers social media, apps, search and like news. History buff, movie and theme park lover. Blessed dad and husband. Owen is also a musician and is the founder of Groove Modes.          

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