Back in August last year, Google announced that it would be shuttering down the apps section in the Chrome Web Store. The company in its blog post states that this was a step in direction of shutting down the standalone Chrome apps that nobody really downloaded for their browsers.
Google followed through: Chrome browser users will no longer be able to access or install any apps from the Chrome Web Store. By early 2018, Chrome apps that are already installed on the Google’s browser will no longer work.
Chrome OS users, however, will still be able to access them for the foreseeable future. People who use Chrome just for web surfing will be able to download extensions and themes.
The blog post reads: “Chrome Apps will be removed from Chrome Web Store search & browse functions in mid-December 2017. Existing apps will continue to work and receive updates.
The Chrome browser will continue to load packaged and hosted apps on Windows, Mac, and Linux beyond the previously announced deprecation timeline. Another update will be posted here when a new date for the Chrome Apps EOL on Windows, Mac, and Linux has been finalized.”
According to Ars Technica, Google is directing developers towards a different way for desktop: Progressive Web Apps (PWA). This new hybrid software, which was launched earlier this year by Google, will bring the app features to the websites. The company is reported to release PWA sometime in second quarter next year.