Towards the end of 2017, we learned that Google was planning to replace Chrome Apps with Progressive Web Apps (PWAs), towards the end of 2017. The company planned on completely removing Chrome Apps support on Windows, Mac, and Linux by Q1 2018. However, Google didn’t follow through with the plan and chose to wait until more Desktop PWAs became available to install on the platforms.
Today, Google has finally shared an updated timeline for when Chrome apps will stop working on all platforms. June 2022 is when they’ll be gone for good, but it depends on which platform you’re on. Previously, we knew that Chrome apps someday wouldn’t work on Windows, macOS, and Linux, but today, Google revealed that Chrome apps will eventually stop working on Chrome OS, too.
A Chrome app is a web-based app that you can install in Chrome that looks and functions kind of like an app you’d launch from your desktop. Take this one for the read-it-later-app Pocket, for example — when you install it, it opens in a separate window that makes it seem as if Pocket is functioning as its app.
As per a recent post on the Chromium Blog, Google will begin phasing out support for Chrome Apps across all operating systems in the following manner:
- 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.
Now, more than three years later, we finally know when Chrome apps won’t work on those platforms — and when they won’t work on any platform at all.