Google on Wednesday made good on its promise to rid of Chrome Apps. According to a report by Ars Technica, Chrome applications which are already installed by users will continue to function for the time being but will be phased out come Q1 2018.
Google had announced back in August 2016 that it would end Chrome apps across Windows, Mac and Linux platforms citing the reason that less than 1 percent of users were using them.
As Google explained in its blog post past year, Chrome apps are being killed because no one uses them.
As explained in the report, there were two broad types of Chrome apps available to users.
There's also Chrome Extensions, which are still desktop only and aren't going anywhere. The more powerful Chrome Apps were "packaged apps", which could run in the background and access hardware like USB ports. Extensions are also installed through the Chrome Web Store and usually live next to the address bar as buttons.
Google's replacement for Chrome apps will come in the form of what it refers to as PWAs or progressive web apps. Both were desktop-only features, and now both will exist as Chrome OS-only features. While Google did mention at the time that it might take them up to Q1 2018 to strip out the program completely, the company has shut down the "app" section present previously on the Chrome Web Store. PWAs again aim to bring a few app-like features to websites, giving them a full-screen interface, an "installable" app icon, push notifications, and offline capabilities. Chrome will not fully remove support for Chrome Apps on Windows, Mac or Linux until after Desktop PWA installability becomes available in 2018. Most Android browsers including Opera, Firefox and the Samsung mobile browser support PWAs, so this looks like the way forward.