As the world of technology rapidly evolves, so does the way we consume and interact with digital content. In the past, Chrome Apps were seen as a way to deliver websites and lightweight experiences to customers through the Chrome Web Store. However, they never quite caught on like browser extensions or standard websites did.
In a move to keep up with the changing times and improve user experience, Google announced that it would be replacing Chrome Apps with Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) for everyone. With the release of Chrome version 112, the end of Chrome Apps for desktops has officially come.
PWAs offer numerous benefits over packaged Chrome Apps, including better features, reliability, and installability (not to be confused with instability). Google’s decision to sunset Chrome Apps in favor of them was a no-brainer for most. The only exceptions are Enterprise users who still rely on one or two of them and have yet to find or build a viable alternative. Through January 2025, these users can still make use of them with a flick of a switch on the Workspace admin dashboard or by signing into a Chromebook.
chrome://apps will still be a desktop destination, but with a different purpose
Interestingly, the chrome://apps page recently underwent a redesign for desktop users, which at first seems like an odd move so close to the end of Chrome Apps, but you have to keep in mind that any PWAs or regular web apps you “Create a shortcut” for that normally appear in your Chromebook’s Everything launcher will also appear on this page, so it’s still going to be a URL you visit if you want to see these shortcuts on a Windows or Mac computer!
For those who still rely on Chrome Apps, Google has previously announced this timeline, and everyone’s organization or tech team should have had their heads down building or selecting replacement PWAs for any unique apps they were using. If you are still using a Chrome App and are stuck doing so, let us know in the comments.