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07 December 2017, 12:29 | Jodi Jackson
Google's Progressive Web Apps will replace Chrome Apps next year
Chrome will not fully remove support for Chrome Apps on Windows, Mac or Linux until after Desktop PWA installability becomes available in 2018. 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.
The Chrome Web Store is still showing Chrome Apps for Chrome OS users at this time, but Windows, Mac and Linux users are not seeing any apps or games - though it's understood you can still link directly to the apps themselves for now. 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.
They'll be replaced by mid-2018 by the introduction of Progressive Web Apps for desktops. "Another update will be posted here when a new date for the Chrome Apps EOL on Windows, Mac, and Linux has been finalized" Google said in the updated Blog post. Google sees PWAs as the future, thanks to their superior offline capabilities, efficiency, and uniformity across platforms, but they're functionally similar to Chrome Apps, which are somewhat unintuitive by comparison.
"As we continue our efforts to simplify Chrome, we believe it's time to begin the evolution away from the Chrome apps platform". Developers can continue to build Chrome apps (or Android apps) for Chrome OS. 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.
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