Google told developers via email the Chrome team is working to enable Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) that can be installed on the desktop. 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.
At the time, Google announced that Chrome Apps are used by only 1% of Windows, Mac and Linux users. Hosted apps were basically glorified bookmarks, which makes little sense on a real desktop OS but gave Chrome OS users a way to pin important webpages to certain parts of the UI. Google sees PWAs as the future, thanks to their superior offline capabilities, efficiency, and uniformity across platforms, but they're functionally similar to Chrome Apps, which are somewhat unintuitive by comparison.
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What has also now been made apparent is that Google is planning to replace Chrome Apps with PWAs on desktop systems.
Support for Progessive Web Apps is becoming more available, with Microsoft building support for PWAs into Windows 10, and Apple is similarly building support for PWAs into Safari.
Google had big plans for its progressive Web Apps. Because of this, other companies are jumping on the PWA bandwagon: it works on Samsung Android phones in the Samsung browser, Firefox on Android, and Opera on Android. "We have been investigating ways to simplify the transition for developers that depend on exclusive Chrome App APIs, and will continue to focus on this - in particular the Sockets, HID and Serial APIs".
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