Mac, Windows and Linux users may have not seen this one coming, but Google has announced that it is phasing out Chrome apps for the three platforms in nearly two years’ time. Thus, by 2018, users of the said platforms will not be able to load any of the Chrome apps that are still available for them to access at present.
Silently dropping the bombshell on its Chromium blog on Friday, Google explained that the removal of the Chrome apps will be gradual, such that existing Chrome apps will continue to work on the platforms by the end of this year, while new apps will only be available to Chrome OS users. By 2017, Chrome apps will no longer appear on the Chrome Web Store on the three platforms, and by 2018, users of the three platforms will not be able to load the apps.
Though this may come as a surprise to Mac, Windows and Linux users who utilize Chrome apps, this will not be shocking to many since Google has explained that the reason behind this move is actually the poor reception of the apps among Mac, Windows and Linux users. To be exact, only one percent of users of the three platforms actively use Chrome’s packaged apps or its fully functional applications.
However, Google is not just removing packaged apps. Hosted apps or applications that are accessible through the web are also affected by this move. Because of this, developers can only work on Chrome apps for Chrome OS in the near future. Google even encouraged developers in the blog post to start migrating their Chrome apps to the web.
Scrapping Chrome apps for other platforms is a bit risky, since PC World sees this as a threat that could discourage developers from building apps for the Chrome OS. The only consolation on the developers' part is that Google announced months prior that Android apps will soon be compatible with Chrome OS computers, and this could encourage Chrome apps developers to also try their hand at making Android apps and perhaps focus on this in the near future.