Google Is Ditching Chrome Apps On Windows, Mac, And Linux

Samir Makwana

Google is known for adding new features to Chrome browser often, but a few of them are getting axed lately. To streamline its web browser, Google is removing support for Chrome apps on Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms, reports CNET. The Chrome apps are the ones that run within the web browser.

If you have played Angry Birds or used Google Hangouts, then you might be familiar with the Chrome apps. The idea was to make smart web apps look and work like the desktop apps for controlling local files by taking the least amount of space on the hard drive.

"Today, approximately one percent of users on Windows, Mac and Linux actively use Chrome packaged apps, and most hosted apps are already implemented as regular web apps."

In March, Google announced it would discontinue the Chrome apps Launcher from Windows, Mac, and Linux, according to The Inquisitr. This apps Launcher, resting on the dock or task bar, was intended to provide quick access to the Chrome apps. If you have installed or updated Chrome this month, then the apps Launcher must've already vanished from your PC or laptop.

"For a while there were certain experiences the web couldn't provide, such as working offline, sending notifications, and connecting to hardware."

The Chrome apps were added to the web browser as an experiment in late February 2016. Once you install the browser, you can always download and install Chrome apps for a quick access to the existing Google products like Google Docs or Gmail. Thousands of apps are now available in the Chrome Web Store today. However, this is yet another experiment that didn't work. That said, the developers would be encouraged not to make new apps and focus on providing support for the existing ones.

If you wish to check the apps installed on your Chrome browser, just enter "chrome://apps" in the Chrome's address bar. That will show you a list of apps packaged in your Chrome browser.

The Chrome Web Store also packs some apps that redirect to a web app or websites. Netflix app is the prime example and once installed, the Netflix Chrome app opens the Netflix site, reports Engadget. Similarly, you can also add any website as an app. We believe that functionality will also get pulled out.

Nonetheless, the Chrome apps will continue to exist on Chrome OS. According to Digital Trends, Google will make the latest apps available only on the Chrome OS platform by the end of this year. By late 2017, the Chrome Web Store will stop showing apps on Windows, Mac, and Linux. The official support for the Chrome apps on those three platforms will end by early 2018.

A small percentage of users who are utilizing the Chrome apps might get miffed. However, the developers have until early 2018 to come up with the alternatives for the existing Chrome apps. The browser extensions and themes may continue to exist for years.

Heads up, devs - Google Chrome apps are getting ready to shuffle off this mortal coil:

— Gamasutra (@gamasutra) August 22, 2016

The Chrome apps phasing out will delight the folks who always find some processes sucking up hardware resources. Thus, the multiple processes running browser will get leaner. Google's idea of a simpler and faster Chrome browser will still take a couple of years to happen after stripping of some fancy features.

[Photo by Mark Lennihan/AP Images]