Google is finally phasing out Chrome Apps, which honestly nobody used. The search giant has released a timeline where Chrome apps will be phased out from the beginning of March 2020. The Chrome Web Store will stop accepting new submissions. This does not mean that Chrome Web Store is completely going away. Only new apps will not be accepted. Developers will be able to update their existing apps till June 2022.
Google Chrome Apps are going away
Google also notes that support for Chrome Apps on Windows, Mac and Linux will end starting June 2020. In other words, the Chrome Apps are getting a slow death as opposed to direct phase out. So, if you use Chrome Apps on any of the above mentioned platforms then you will be out of luck soon. After June 2020, Chrome Apps will only be functional on the Chrome OS plaform until June of 2021. Google plans to end support for Chrome Apps even on Chrome OS after June of next year. It is rather confusing but clearly shows the state of the ecosystem.
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The timeline for phasing out Chrome Apps from the Chromium blog post is as below:
March 2020: Chrome Web Store will stop accepting new Chrome Apps. Developers will be able to update existing Chrome Apps through June 2022.
June 2020: End support for Chrome Apps on Windows, Mac, and Linux. Customers who have Chrome Enterprise and Chrome Education Upgrade will have access to a policy to extend support through December 2020.
December 2020: End support for Chrome Apps on Windows, Mac, and Linux.
June 2021: End support for NaCl, PNaCl, and PPAPI APIs.
June 2021: End support for Chrome Apps on Chrome OS. Customers who have Chrome Enterprise and Chrome Education Upgrade will have access to a policy to extend support through June 2022.
June 2022: End support for Chrome Apps on Chrome OS for all customers.
In simple terms, this should be seen as bad news for both Chrome Apps users and developers. However, the big picture being that Chrome Apps are not as widely used as other platforms. It will also help Google move developers towards Progressive Web App. Since Google is not killing Chrome Extensions, we might see some apps morph into extensions. Google also has a dedicated website that helps developers with tips on how to migrate their users.