When Google launched Chrome Apps in 2013, the idea was to let web developers create apps that worked more like native desktop applications thanks to powerful APIs and the ability to run even if you’re offline, among other things.
But web browsers and web standards have come a long way since then — and Google says Chrome Apps aren’t necessary anymore. So the company is going to phase out support over the next two years.
This is actually a follow-up to a move the company made in 2016. At the time, Google announced that it would end support for Chrome Apps on Windows, Mac, and Linux by first removing them from the Chrome Web Store and that sometime in 2018 apps that were already installed would no longer work.
It looks like the company extended its deadline, because now Google says it will end support for Chrome Apps on Windows, Mac, and Linux in June, 2020 (or December for enterprise or education users who elect to extend support).
Chromebook users will get a reprieve of a year or two. Mainstream support ends in June, 2021, while enterprise support ends in June, 2022.
Starting this March, Google will no longer accept Chrome App submissions to the Chrome Web Store, but developers of existing apps will be able to continue delivering updates through June, 2022. Developers looking to transition from a Chrome App to a progressive web app or some other type of modern web app can check out Google’s help page for tips on doing that.
Google notes that Chrome Extensions will continue to be supported on all platforms moving forward, as will themes.