Google shuts chrome apps section for Mac and Windows users

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Google is officially done with Chrome Apps for desktops: it's now removed the Apps section from the Chrome Web Store, leaving only Extensions and Themes available for you to customize your browser with from here on out.

"The Chrome browser will continue to load packaged and hosted apps on Windows, Mac, and Linux beyond the previously announced deprecation timeline". Though you can still access the Extensions and Themes from the Chrome Web store.

In order to enable a more seamless transition from Chrome Apps to the web, Chrome will not fully remove support for Chrome Apps on Windows, Mac or Linux until after Desktop PWA installability becomes available in 2018. Some packaged apps were able to take advantage of USB-connected hardware, but if Google's figures are right, it seems like not many people cared for them. Users will not be able to access or install any apps from the store. According to the company's blog post, it was the initial step in the process to shut down the Chrome Apps section as nobody wants to download apps through their browsers [Chrome] anymore.

According to Ars Technica, Google is directing developers towards a different way for desktop: Progressive Web Apps (PWA).

Progressive Web Apps are not Chrome-specific.

PWAs already work on the Chrome app for Android devices.

"As we continue our efforts to simplify Chrome, we believe it's time to begin the evolution away from the Chrome apps platform". PWAs got a big boost to move beyond Android when Microsoft announced it was bringing PWAs to Windows 10, and even Apple has slowly started work on adding PWA support to Safari. PWAs already work on Samsung's own web browser on its Android smartphones and Android versions of Firefox and Opera.

What has also now been made apparent is that Google is planning to replace Chrome Apps with PWAs on desktop systems.

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