Home Technology Google to finally kill off its Chrome Apps

Google to finally kill off its Chrome Apps

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Remember that time when you downloaded a Chrome app to help make your browsing experience better? Me neither. In what should surprise absolutely no one, 9to5Google is reporting that Google has revealed a timeline on when they will be bringing Chroma apps to a close. In June 2022 Chrome apps will stop entirely, depending on the platform you’re on. I’m personally surprised they were still going in the first place.

A Chrome app was essentially a web-based app that you can install in Chrome that looks and functions like an app you’d launch from your desktop. A nice idea, in theory, especially considering that when the concept was first released, not a lot of apps were available on Linux or the Android platform in the way they are today.

The idea found little traction with developers though who preferred to focus on getting their apps to run natively. And with progressive web apps only growing in popularity over the years, it made the whole thing a little pointless. This and the fact that Chrome killed your memory and made using said apps incredibly frustrating. In fact, just over 3 years ago there was a report from Google saying that it would end support for Chrome apps on Windows, macOS, and Linux because approximately only one percent of users on those platforms were actively using packaged Chrome apps. That was 2016 and the world has long since moved on from there.

I’m personally not aware of any Chrome apps still around, but if you are one of the few that still use them, well you have two years to start getting yourself off them. And I’m sure by that time there will be a suitable replacement anyway that is available natively.  

Last Updated: January 20, 2020


  1. Johnmichael Monteith

    January 21, 2020 at 03:17

    If you own a Chromebook then you are very familiar with Chrome web apps and may be sad to see them go. As just one example, the Citrix Chrome app is vastly better designed than their Citrix Workspace Android app that is designed for a phone and not a full laptop. That is a recurring theme with most Android apps and the reason the Chrome ones have stuck around for so long – because the Android ones are not an adequate replacement. Google apparently determined that the Android apps will never be adequate unless they cut off the Chrome options.


  2. Derek p

    January 21, 2020 at 12:44

    I actually am a 1 percenter at something because I use the Chrome Apps on Windows 10. The big appeal to me is the ability to “pin” Gmail and my Google Calendar to my taskbar and their icons show up just like any other app. Then, when I launch them, they open up in their very own windows with their icons but they don’t have the full Chrome menu so they’re almost full screen. They literally look and feel like desktop apps. I can keep them open all day and alt-tab between them. If I “close chrome” then these apps stay open unless I close them specifically.

    I’m betting there is some other way to pull this off, but I like the baked in way that Chrome does this. I’ll be sad to see them go.


    • Ryan

      January 21, 2020 at 15:22

      I use this too. I didn’t realize when I went to Settings > More tools > Create shortcut… > and check “Open as window” it was creating a Chrome “app”. This feature is great and I think more people would use it if they knew it was available.


  3. Brendan Hide

    January 22, 2020 at 13:42

    I use Google Keep on the desktop using the Chrome App on Linux. Many people use the WhatsApp app. :-/


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