First communicated last August, Google has set in motion a Timeline for his plans to kill traditional Chrome apps on Chrome OS. It is now Change of this timeline based on feedback from Enterprise customers and extending the deadline for at least three years.
Originally, general support for Chrome Apps for Google’s laptop operating system was supposed to end in June 2022. However, because Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) are not yet where the company or its customers want them to be, feature parity has not yet been reached remain first choice.
PWAs are created and improved with modern APIs to provide enhanced functionality, reliability, and installability while reaching anyone, anywhere, on any device with a single code base. There’s a growing ecosystem of powerful desktop web apps and PWAs, from advanced graphics products like Adobe Spark, to engaging media apps like YouTube TV, to productivity and collaboration apps like Zoom.
For more information on converting your company to PWAs, see ChromeOS.dev Portal. Just to be clear, “Chrome apps” are not the same as “Chromebook apps” as you called them. The latter are technically considered “Android apps” because they are delivered via the Google Play Store. The former are the holdover from an earlier attempt to bring traditionally packaged and locally installed apps to the browser. When that didn’t work out quite as Google had hoped it would, Google invested in web applications – apps that run right in the browser. Today, this effort stands alongside the Android apps that are burned directly into Chromebooks.
“Chrome apps” are unlikely to worry the average bear. Most of you have likely already been urged or forced to replace these with web app alternatives by Google and others. Some examples of the proprietary PWA replacements for these apps include Chrome Remote Desktop, Google Keep, News, Photos, Maps, the Chromebook Recovery Utility, and more.
As we approach January 2025, the date when Google will re-evaluate its decision to completely wipe out these old-school apps, we’ll hear whether or not it pulls through on the second try. Three years should be enough time to make up for what is lacking in progressive web apps and turn them into viable alternatives for small businesses, large businesses, and individuals. Let us know in the comments if you are still using Chrome apps with your team or have moved on!