Chrome apps were supposed to have been killed off, but Google is dragging its feet

Google Chrome
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Google has extended the end of support timeline for Chrome apps, which were set to be discontinued in June this year.

Billed as a way to provide the local application experience via the web, Chrome apps never took off in quite the way Google had hoped and are only used by a tiny minority of users today.

However, despite waning user numbers, the company has now extended aspects of the deprecation timeline until June 2022, in response to “feedback from customers and partners”.

Chrome apps

First announced back in 2016, the long-mooted retirement of Chrome apps has taken quite some time to play out. In January, Google promised to forge ahead with the process in 2020, but has failed to deliver.

The company stopped adding new Chrome apps to its public store in March, but customers are still able to submit private apps for use in a business context, which will not be listed for download on the public storefront.

Chrome apps for Windows, Mac and Linux devices were originally set for retirement this year, but have now been given a stay of execution until June 2021 (although, even then, business users can apply for a year-long extension).

Support for Chrome apps on Chrome OS devices, meanwhile, will extend until June 2022, at which point Google will also stop accepting all private enterprise listings, effectively rounding out the deprecation process.

The retirement of Chrome apps might have some users worried about their favorite Chrome Extensions, but the two are not to be confused. Unlike Chrome apps, Extensions can be used to change the browser’s functionality and integrate third party services (ad blocking, password management etc.).

“Google will continue to support and invest in Chrome Extensions on all existing platforms. Fostering a robust ecosystem of extensions is critical to Chrome’s mission and we are committed to providing a useful extension platform for customizing the browsing experience for all users,” said the firm.

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Via 9to5Google

Joel Khalili
News and Features Editor

Joel Khalili is the News and Features Editor at TechRadar Pro, covering cybersecurity, data privacy, cloud, AI, blockchain, internet infrastructure, 5G, data storage and computing. He's responsible for curating our news content, as well as commissioning and producing features on the technologies that are transforming the way the world does business.