Google Removes Chrome Apps Section From the Chrome Browser Web Store

Google has shuttered the Chrome Apps section of its Chrome browser web store, following through on an announcement the company made more than a year ago. As of Wednesday, the Apps selection no longer appeared in the web store's search panel filters below Extensions and Themes.

Prior to yesterday's removal, Chrome apps were available in two flavors: packaged apps and hosted apps. As Ars Technica notes, hosted apps were little more than desktop bookmarks, but they gave Chrome OS users a way to pin important web pages to certain parts of the GUI.

Packaged apps, which first appeared on Mac in 2013, could be downloaded into the Applications folder where they were designed to function like native Mac apps, working offline, updating automatically, and syncing on any computer where a user was signed into Chrome.

By 2016, Google had decided they were no longer worth the resources, because only around 1 percent of users across Windows, Mac, and Linux actively used Chrome packaged apps, and by that time the functionality of most hosted apps had been implemented as regular web apps.

This week, Google began sending out emails to Chrome app developers informing them that Chrome Apps are now deprecated, and that the functionality of already installed apps will end early next year. As a replacement, Google is moving developers towards Progressive Web Apps (PWAs).

The hybrid software was launched earlier this year on Android and brings similar app features to websites, including push notifications and offline sync. Apple has already started building support for PWAs into Safari on iOS, while Google is reportedly aiming to release PWAs for desktop by the middle of next year.

Tags: Google, Chrome


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10 months ago
This is why I never use Google platforms as a developer. They’re full of great ideas, but you can be certain that within 1-3 years, google is going to abandon it and announce a replacement.

Platforms need to be stable and maintained above all else or they’re useless. You shouldn’t build your house on sand. You shouldn’t build your app on Google’s platform.

Periodically I’m asked to update an older application built on a google platform. That’s always a nightmare. The horrible experiences from all of them leads me to ensure any new apps I’m part of don’t have google involved.
Rating: 30 Votes
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10 months ago
And that disease of Google is spreading to YouTube.
Rating: 7 Votes
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10 months ago
"But I thought that Google was the only company innovated and it never made any bad software choices?" -Every low-key Android fanboy MR forum user
Rating: 7 Votes
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10 months ago
I'm waiting for 2025 ... Google vs Amazon ... steel cage death match.
Rating: 7 Votes
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10 months ago

Anyone know what is going to happen to Chrome Remote Desktop?


I have also used many Chromebooks and was heavily into Google 2011-2016. Took a loss of a few Google Docs that I really cherished (they disappeared) and put in a lot of effort to remind me that maybe a file that I can backup on my hard drive isn't such a bad thing. I still use Chrome and Google.com but have migrated to Dropbox and Office 365. Amazing to have files on my hard drive again, but at least I can back them up many times super easily and if the cloud poof disappears, my files do not.

I've also moved away from Google Keep to OneNote awhile ago. Keep takes FOREVER to load 2k+ notes (which it has to load every time I open it up).

Yeah, I used to be pretty pro Google. After having them shut down many apps that I loved over the last 5+ years, and stuff like this, I realize that I'd rather have my stuff be in a more stable platform.


I use Chrome Remote Desktop so much... I really hope that doesn't go away. :( The only thing I use heavily now is gmail - but that's been pretty good.
Rating: 4 Votes
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10 months ago

This is why I never use Google platforms as a developer. They’re full of great ideas, but you can be certain that within 1-3 years, google is going to abandon it and announce a replacement.

Platforms need to be stable and maintained above all else or they’re useless. You shouldn’t build your house on sand. You shouldn’t build your app on Google’s platform.

Periodically I’m asked to update an older application built on a google platform. That’s always a nightmare. The horrible experiences from all of them leads me to ensure any new apps I’m part of don’t have google involved.


I see it time and time again with their apps, it is so immensely infuriating. MyTracks and Lattitude are examples, they could have just left the apps alone, ageing sure but they didn't need to shutter them.

They are like a child in a toy shop "oh look, new shiny thing to play with!". They never seem to want to focus on one thing and polish it.
Rating: 4 Votes
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10 months ago
I guess I was part of the 1%.

I have a Chromebook, and the Chrome Apps let me use the same stuff on Chrome OS, Windows, and Mac.

I haven't used Chrome OS in a long time, but I use macOS daily. All my Chrome Apps were still available.

I used an SFTP client, an SSH terminal, Google Keep, Chrome Remote Desktop, TeamViewer, a VNC viewer, and had a few games.

This isn't a huge loss. I will use other stuff. But it is also another "oh look, Google killed ANOTHER thing" event.
Rating: 4 Votes
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10 months ago
Now I wonder if I should migrate back to Firefox from Chrome; not sure how relevant is this news be for this decision though
Rating: 2 Votes
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10 months ago
Quick which App Store is worse Chrome, MacOS, Windows? All of the above ;)
Rating: 2 Votes
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10 months ago

I did this recently and used Firefox Quantum (what they're calling the new firefox) - and it is VERY usable, very nice, and very fast. Only thing I had to get used to was downloading Adobe Flash for the sites that needed flash. I'm back to Chrome tho but - Firefox is a good replacement atm.

Surely you'd just use Chrome when needed for Flash, but use FFQ for everything else?

I wonder why other browsers don't just deal with Flash in the same way Chrome does, TBH...?
Rating: 2 Votes
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