Do you use Chrome apps? If you don’t, then you’re not alone. Most of us aren’t using them. Despite that, Google is extending its planned timeline to stop support for the software.
What are Chrome Apps?
They are similar to the apps that you launch from your desktop. Unfortunately, many people are just ignoring them. 1% of users on Mac, Linux, or Windows are actually using Chrome apps.
In 2016, Google announced that it was phasing out its support for those apps on Mac, Linux, and Windows. The apps will only run on Chrome OS. The company even stated that the Chrome apps would only be available to Chrome OS users in late 2016. But Google changed its plan and extended its support.
Earlier in 2020, Google announced that the Chrome apps would no longer work in Mac, Linux, and Windows starting this year. It set a June 2020 deadline. However, it’s not following the schedule based on the recent announcement.
Google said that Chrome apps will still work on other platforms besides Chrome OS until June 2021. It means that developers can still extend their support for those apps on those platforms for another year. They can still work through 2022.
Regardless of the platform, you are using, Google will stop supporting those apps by June 2022.
There are two types of Chrome apps. One is the packaged app. Only 1 percent of users on Mac, Linux, and Windows are actively using packaged apps. The hosted app is another type of Chrome app but most hosted apps are used as a regular web app.
Google said that it’s justifiable to end support for these apps because of the advancements of the open web. Before, the web could not let you work offline, connect to hardware, or send notifications. But these holes have already been patched. With that in mind, developers are forced to move their stuff to the web.
However, it’s quite different from Chrome OS. Google still believes that these apps still play a critical role.
Are Chrome Apps and Extensions the Same?
They are not the same. Chrome apps are programs that you install in Chrome. Extensions, on the other hand, are just add-ons that can make Google Chrome experience from good to great.
Many people depend on Google Extensions every day to ensure that they have the best internet experience. But only a few individuals are using Chrome apps. In fact, most Chrome users don’t even know they exist.
If everything goes according to plan, then the Chrome apps that only a few people knew that they existed will be dead. The Chrome Web Store will already stop accepting new and updated Chrome apps. It will also terminate its support for apps.
In December 2017, Chrome Web Store had removed its category for apps as it started implementing Progressive Web Apps. These are apps that look like apps but not limited to Chrome.
If you’re worried that Google would also remove Google Extensions, then don’t be. Google stated that the changes for Chrome apps won’t affect the life of Chrome extensions. In fact, it recommends that developers transition to extensions.