Alphabet Inc. ‘s Google has announced its plans to phase out Chrome apps on Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems over the next two years, and both users and developers are enjoined to act quickly before they draw the final curtain in 2018, Google announced in a blog post. Chrome apps were launched three years ago.
Google will withdraw support for all packaged apps and hosted apps on Windows, Mac, and Linux – but never on Chrome OS. The internet giant made it clear that most hosted apps are currently being used as normal web apps while only 1% of Linux, Mac, and Windows users utilize packaged apps for Chrome OS – making it clearly unnecessary to continue supporting other platforms.
Google advises developers to only build Chrome apps for Chrome OS
Given its plans to evolve away from Chrome apps platform, Alphabet Inc. ‘s Google now advises app developers to only build Chrome or Android apps for the Chrome OS, since only these will remain maintained and supported for as far as the internet giant can see into the future.
According to Rahul Roy-Chowdhury, Vice President of Product Management, existing Chrome apps will continue to be available for everyone on Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms and developers can go on updating them till the end of this year. But newly created Chrome apps will only be accessible on Chrome OS alone.
As from mid 2017, Roy-Chowdhury made it clear that only Chrome apps for the Chrome OS will remain visible and accessible on Chrome Web Store – but themes and extensions for Mac, Linux and Windows might remain. But total support and accessibility for Chrome apps on these other platforms will quit by early 2018.
Google Inc. advises Chrome apps developers on Linux, Mac, and Windows platforms to move all their apps to the web; and those who can’t completely migrate their apps should utilize new APIs to make this possible. Developers who have difficulty fully migrating their Chrome apps to the web may also temporarily use Electron, Nw.js or a Chrome extension platform.
Mixed reactions from developers trail Alphabet Inc.’s decision
A lot of reactions from developers and users on Google+ trail this new Chrome apps/Chrome OS decision, and while many hail the new development, many others expressed frustration with the transition.
Lunix Watt, a developer commented on Google’s blog post via Google+ that “I’m just furious. This means my efforts when I wrote code for Chrome apps is lost. I spent enough time and hope on it to be profoundly disgusted.”
“Wow, this is stupid,” wrote Lou Gagliardi in reaction to this development. “I use tweetdeck and amazon kindle online. I use Gallium OS on my Chromebook and use the webcam app from Google Chrome. I hate that Google changes its mind so easily!”
And yet another user, Vishal Ravishankar, wrote “So what will happen to Chrome Remote Desktop and Hangouts? I use them every day and pretty frequently.”
One thing however stands out: while Alphabet Inc. ‘s Google is thinking only of its own skin and expressed some thoughts for developers, little thought is spared for majority of Chrome apps users across other platforms.