Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
54,986
17,367



Chrome_Web_Store_Logo_2012-2015-250x232.jpg
Google has shuttered the Chrome Apps section of its Chrome browser web store, following through on an announcement the company made more than a year ago. As of Wednesday, the Apps selection no longer appeared in the web store's search panel filters below Extensions and Themes.

Prior to yesterday's removal, Chrome apps were available in two flavors: packaged apps and hosted apps. As Ars Technica notes, hosted apps were little more than desktop bookmarks, but they gave Chrome OS users a way to pin important web pages to certain parts of the GUI.

Packaged apps, which first appeared on Mac in 2013, could be downloaded into the Applications folder where they were designed to function like native Mac apps, working offline, updating automatically, and syncing on any computer where a user was signed into Chrome.

By 2016, Google had decided they were no longer worth the resources, because only around 1 percent of users across Windows, Mac, and Linux actively used Chrome packaged apps, and by that time the functionality of most hosted apps had been implemented as regular web apps.

This week, Google began sending out emails to Chrome app developers informing them that Chrome Apps are now deprecated, and that the functionality of already installed apps will end early next year. As a replacement, Google is moving developers towards Progressive Web Apps (PWAs).

The hybrid software was launched earlier this year on Android and brings similar app features to websites, including push notifications and offline sync. Apple has already started building support for PWAs into Safari on iOS, while Google is reportedly aiming to release PWAs for desktop by the middle of next year.

Article Link: Google Removes Chrome Apps Section From the Chrome Browser Web Store
 

ArtOfWarfare

macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
9,339
5,539
This is why I never use Google platforms as a developer. They’re full of great ideas, but you can be certain that within 1-3 years, google is going to abandon it and announce a replacement.

Platforms need to be stable and maintained above all else or they’re useless. You shouldn’t build your house on sand. You shouldn’t build your app on Google’s platform.

Periodically I’m asked to update an older application built on a google platform. That’s always a nightmare. The horrible experiences from all of them leads me to ensure any new apps I’m part of don’t have google involved.
 

mcfmullen

macrumors member
Feb 6, 2012
70
2
If only google would fix chrome themes so that videos can be watched in full screen. Works fine vanilla but ALL themes break full screen videos. It’s been the case for years.

Maybe if they had working features users would use them.
 

Xenomorph

macrumors 65816
Aug 6, 2008
1,358
669
St. Louis
I guess I was part of the 1%.

I have a Chromebook, and the Chrome Apps let me use the same stuff on Chrome OS, Windows, and Mac.

I haven't used Chrome OS in a long time, but I use macOS daily. All my Chrome Apps were still available.

I used an SFTP client, an SSH terminal, Google Keep, Chrome Remote Desktop, TeamViewer, a VNC viewer, and had a few games.

This isn't a huge loss. I will use other stuff. But it is also another "oh look, Google killed ANOTHER thing" event.
 

hipnetic

macrumors 65816
Oct 5, 2010
1,235
521
So I use Google Keep as a standalone on my MacBook. Am I interpreting this correctly that that's no longer going to work and they don't have a standalone OSX-compatible app ready to replace that? I have to use a web interface instead? If so, that sucks.
 

CarpalMac

macrumors 68000
Nov 19, 2012
1,548
3,734
UK
This is why I never use Google platforms as a developer. They’re full of great ideas, but you can be certain that within 1-3 years, google is going to abandon it and announce a replacement.

Platforms need to be stable and maintained above all else or they’re useless. You shouldn’t build your house on sand. You shouldn’t build your app on Google’s platform.

Periodically I’m asked to update an older application built on a google platform. That’s always a nightmare. The horrible experiences from all of them leads me to ensure any new apps I’m part of don’t have google involved.

I see it time and time again with their apps, it is so immensely infuriating. MyTracks and Lattitude are examples, they could have just left the apps alone, ageing sure but they didn't need to shutter them.

They are like a child in a toy shop "oh look, new shiny thing to play with!". They never seem to want to focus on one thing and polish it.
 

jbkendrick

macrumors newbie
Jan 19, 2008
7
0
Unless of course, you're running ChromeOS, and in that case, the Apps in the Chrome Web Store are safe and sound amidst cheering from those 60% plus of public school devices in the USA running Chromebooks. J
 

BigMcGuire

macrumors 604
Jan 10, 2012
7,823
9,623
the Alpha Quadrant
Anyone know what is going to happen to Chrome Remote Desktop?

I have also used many Chromebooks and was heavily into Google 2011-2016. Took a loss of a few Google Docs that I really cherished (they disappeared) and put in a lot of effort to remind me that maybe a file that I can backup on my hard drive isn't such a bad thing. I still use Chrome and Google.com but have migrated to Dropbox and Office 365. Amazing to have files on my hard drive again, but at least I can back them up many times super easily and if the cloud poof disappears, my files do not.

I've also moved away from Google Keep to OneNote awhile ago. Keep takes FOREVER to load 2k+ notes (which it has to load every time I open it up).

Yeah, I used to be pretty pro Google. After having them shut down many apps that I loved over the last 5+ years, and stuff like this, I realize that I'd rather have my stuff be in a more stable platform.


I use Chrome Remote Desktop so much... I really hope that doesn't go away. :( The only thing I use heavily now is gmail - but that's been pretty good.
 

BigMcGuire

macrumors 604
Jan 10, 2012
7,823
9,623
the Alpha Quadrant
Now I wonder if I should migrate back to Firefox from Chrome; not sure how relevant is this news be for this decision though

I did this recently and used Firefox Quantum (what they're calling the new firefox) - and it is VERY usable, very nice, and very fast. Only thing I had to get used to was downloading Adobe Flash for the sites that needed flash. I'm back to Chrome tho but - Firefox is a good replacement atm.
 

jimthing

macrumors 68000
Apr 6, 2011
1,707
905
London, UK (Europe, Earth, Space)
I did this recently and used Firefox Quantum (what they're calling the new firefox) - and it is VERY usable, very nice, and very fast. Only thing I had to get used to was downloading Adobe Flash for the sites that needed flash. I'm back to Chrome tho but - Firefox is a good replacement atm.
Surely you'd just use Chrome when needed for Flash, but use FFQ for everything else?

I wonder why other browsers don't just deal with Flash in the same way Chrome does, TBH...?
 

kebrone

macrumors member
Jun 14, 2017
57
31
This is very sad! A lot of business have installed Chrome Apps and streamlined it to work fine. Now they have to find workarounds again! I never trust Google as a platform. People are crazy if they depend on the Google Apps for "Work".
 

BigMcGuire

macrumors 604
Jan 10, 2012
7,823
9,623
the Alpha Quadrant
Surely you'd just use Chrome when needed for Flash, but use FFQ for everything else?

I wonder why other browsers don't just deal with Flash in the same way Chrome does, TBH...?

Well when I was using Firefox for the last 2 weeks - I installed Adobe Flash, and was happy to see Firefox defaults flash content disabled - so I was able to enable what I wanted. So I considered that semi-safe. I still felt better when I uninstalled Adobe Flash tbh. lol.

Agreed ... I think it just takes too many resources? Dunno.
 

decafjava

macrumors 601
Feb 7, 2011
4,027
4,134
Geneva
I did this recently and used Firefox Quantum (what they're calling the new firefox) - and it is VERY usable, very nice, and very fast. Only thing I had to get used to was downloading Adobe Flash for the sites that needed flash. I'm back to Chrome tho but - Firefox is a good replacement atm.
Firefoix Quantum is excellent - use it about 70/30 Safari/FF on my Mac though it will grow. At work on Windows FF is my exclusive browser - really fast and smooth and shockingly so.
 
  • Like
Reactions: BigMcGuire

C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
51,388
19,452
I have also used many Chromebooks and was heavily into Google 2011-2016. Took a loss of a few Google Docs that I really cherished (they disappeared) and put in a lot of effort to remind me that maybe a file that I can backup on my hard drive isn't such a bad thing. I still use Chrome and Google.com but have migrated to Dropbox and Office 365. Amazing to have files on my hard drive again, but at least I can back them up many times super easily and if the cloud poof disappears, my files do not.

I've also moved away from Google Keep to OneNote awhile ago. Keep takes FOREVER to load 2k+ notes (which it has to load every time I open it up).

Yeah, I used to be pretty pro Google. After having them shut down many apps that I loved over the last 5+ years, and stuff like this, I realize that I'd rather have my stuff be in a more stable platform.


I use Chrome Remote Desktop so much... I really hope that doesn't go away. :( The only thing I use heavily now is gmail - but that's been pretty good.
As I don't use Google Docs (or Chrome OS) much, curious, is it not possible or really noticeably more complex/cumbersome to keep Google Doc files locally (in addition to in the cloud)?
 
  • Like
Reactions: BigMcGuire

BigMcGuire

macrumors 604
Jan 10, 2012
7,823
9,623
the Alpha Quadrant
As I don't use Google Docs (or Chrome OS) much, curious, is it not possible or really noticeably more complex/cumbersome to keep Google Doc files locally (in addition to in the cloud)?

Exactly - it isn't possible as far as I'm concerned. If you use Google Drive (as I did/used to) every Google Doc is a filename.gdoc 1kb file locally on your hard drive. All that is is a web url link to the Google Document online.

Now Google Docs, the app, on iOS and on Chrome supposedly keeps the last 100 Google Documents you use "offline" for you to use whenever but if you want to use a Google Doc that wasn't in the last 100 you're SOL if you have no internet. Also the reliability of this is terrible. It worked better on a Chromebook (storing the last 100 Google Docs "offline").

So imho, there really is no way to have a Google Doc offline unless you manually "Download as .docx/.pdf/etc..." every now and then and store a local copy offline manually. You're 100% right.


Which is why now, using Microsoft Office documents and UltraEdit .txt files via Dropbox is so AWESOME. :) I can use them when internet goes down, and if they "disappear" out of the cloud, they're still on my hard drive. Office 365's multi-user collaboration is actually pretty good now. AND, backing them up is so easy (copy/paste). lol.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.