Google recently noted in a blog post today that Chrome apps is effectively user-less, as active usage numbers were low. After 3 years the company will begin to phase out Chrome apps for all platforms except for Chrome OS.
If you haven’t used Chrome apps they are apps that are essentially similar to smaller apps and have their own windows, however, they require Chrome to be running to work. Apps such as Google Hangouts are often used, Hangouts is one of Googles most popular messaging apps. Google is now looking to clean up its browser and simplify it.
Sometime in the second half of 2017 the Chrome Web Store will no longer display Chrome apps, only those using Chrome OS will have access. By 2018 users wont be able to load Chrome apps on Windows, Mac, or Linux.
As for extensions and themes, they are being given a new focus and may not be affected by this change. Google stated “There are two types of Chrome apps: packaged apps and hosted apps. Today, approximately 1 percent of users on Windows, Mac, and Linux actively use Chrome packaged apps, and most hosted apps are already implemented as regular web apps.”
“For a while there were certain experiences the web couldn’t provide, such as working offline, sending notifications, and connecting to hardware.” Google sees no future for Chrome apps, with their continuous development of an open web, even their pushing for more web integration. “Developers who can’t fully move their apps to the web can help us prioritize new APIs to help fill the gaps left by Chrome apps.”