Chrome app store is now dead, Google bringing PWAs for desktops soon

By Digit NewsDesk | Updated 7 Dec 2017
Chrome app store is now dead, Google bringing PWAs for desktops soon
  • Google has killed the Chrome app store for desktops, making way for Progressive Web Apps that can work cross-platform, on all devices, uniformly.

Google had warned more than a year back that Chrome Apps will soon die out on Windows, Mac and Linux some time in 2017. That day has arrived and the App Store on Google Chrome is no longer available. This means you can’t install Chrome apps on your desktop anymore. 

advertisements

Google had explained its rationale in a blog post last year. Chrome apps are being killed because people hardly use them. “Approximately 1 percent of users on Windows, Mac and Linux actively use Chrome packaged apps.” 

Chrome apps are not completely gone though. You can still install a Chrome app by directly linking. So currently, only the searchable app section is dead. The Chrome apps are now listed in the Extensions section. 

However, with the death of Chrome apps, Google is working on bringing Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) to the desktop browser. PWAs are essentially websites with app-like features. You get a full screen interface, push notifications, offline capabilities and an installable app icon. PWAs are already live on Chrome for Android and once it comes to desktops, PWAs could very well become the only app type to work across desktop and mobiles. Google has said it will roll out PWAs for desktop sometime in mid-2018. 

advertisements

Till today, the Chrome app store housed apps in two flavours: “Hosted apps” and “Packaged apps.” Hosted apps were basically glorified links to websites with its own icon to easily access it from the homepage. It gave Chrome users a way to pin bookmarks to certain sections of the browser but didn’t really make any sense for a desktop user when there is already a bookmarks bar. 

The second flavour, “packaged apps” were more of the real deal. Packaged apps (RIP) can run in the background and have access to hardware-level features like the USB ports. 

There are also Chrome extensions which aren’t going anywhere. They are also desktop only and can be installed through the Chrome Web Store. Extensions usually live right next to the Address Bar. Password managers, ad blockers, and the likes are Chrome extensions, and are a key element in the Chrome desktop experience. 

advertisements

PWAs, on the other hand, aren’t exactly standard apps. It’s more of a catch-phrase for existing W3C standards for app icons, background updates, push notifications, etc. PWAs work across browsers and are not locked inside a single browser. Even Windows have announced it will bring PWAs to Windows 10 while Apple is already working on adding support for PWAs to Safari. 

advertisements
Digit NewsDesk
The guy who answered the question 'What are you doing?' with 'Nothing'.
advertisements
ASK DIGIT

Recent Questions

google chrome is it safe
D JAYASHEELA
Sept 26, 2014
Responses
Comments
Be the first one to post the comment
Post a New Comment
You must be signed in to post a comment
advertisements