Chrome Apps being retired on Windows, Mac & Linux
This post is from this announcement: http://www.androidpolice.com/2016/08/19/google-phasing-chrome-apps-will-no-longer-work-2018/
Why am I excited about Chrome losing features? The very features that I begged and pleaded with developers to use to bring their apps over to the Chrome Web Store?
Firstly I thought that Chrome apps were going to take over the world, I truly thought that every dev would have to make a Chrome app and Chrome Apps would eventually cause the death of Android apps, I got that completely the wrong way around.
I felt Chrome apps were announced and then left to die by Google, here were my thoughts when Chrome apps were two years old. https://plus.google.com/+MarkDodsworth/posts/HxPB5M4ahAa
The final straw for me was when Erik Kay the lead and ambassador of Chrome Packaged Apps platform was on stage at IO 2016 announcing Allo and Duo, two Android apps without any Chrome support what so ever.
Over the past couple of years i’ve watched as the best desktop features of Chrome being removed from Windows, Mac & Linux:
Removal of Chrome OS mode in Windowshttps://bugs.chromium.org/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=430307
Removal of Chrome app launcherhttps://blog.chromium.org/2016/03/retiring-chrome-app-launcher.html
Removal of ‘OK Google’ Always Listening http://venturebeat.com/2015/10/16/google-removes-ok-google-voice-search-from-chrome/
Removal of Chrome notificationshttp://blog.chromium.org/2015/10/streamlining-notifications-on-desktop.html
I feel like these changes had to come, Chrome on Windows, Mac & Linux had became a bloated pig, it started as the industry’s darling browser, as time has gone on and Google tried to make it into a full fledged operating system it’s become a RAM consuming monster.
Tech journalists have spoken out about this and made Chrome into a laughing stock: http://betanews.com/2015/01/05/sorry-google-chrome-you-are-too-bloated-i-am-leaving-you-for-firefox/ http://gizmodo.com/fuck-it-im-going-back-to-firefox-1685425815 http://thenextweb.com/opinion/2015/05/14/why-im-breaking-up-with-google-chrome/#gref
With Chrome on Windows, Mac & Linux doing less with less code and resources, it should be a more streamlined, efficient experience going forward. The browser should do one thing and do that great, running web sites.
With Android apps coming to Chromebooks it makes sense that Chrome apps are no longer as important, Chrome apps were supposed to fill the gaps that web apps couldn’t but they never took off in the way Google hoped.
With two types of installable apps from two separate webstores things now need to be streamlined. What this means for the Chrome Web Store I don’t know, will Chrome extensions ever come to mobile? How much longer will Chrome Apps be supported for Chrome OS? Will the Chrome Webstore ever merge with the Play Store? Google under sundar pichai seem more focussed with simpler apps, it’ll be interesting how this develops.
When Steve Jobs originally announced the iPhone in 2007 he stated that web apps would be all you’d need. He was forced to change his mind and the App Store was born, Google tried to push web apps with the Chromebook but failed, the next thing Google are pushing for web apps is to live completely on the web with nothing to install: http://www.infoworld.com/article/3017994/application-development/google-progressive-web-apps-new-scheme-for-native-like-web-apps.html
Another thing Google are looking to do with web apps is turning them into Android installable packages: http://www.androidpolice.com/2016/08/18/google-prepares-way-webapks-progressive-web-apps-latest-chromium-android-build/
The Future of Chrome and the web should be slicker experience, with Flash going away: https://chrome.googleblog.com/2016/08/flash-and-chrome.html
and Google aggresively pushing AMP https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2016/08/amp-your-content-preview-of-amped.html?m=1
With Chrome focussing on being a speedy browser it can go back to its roots, and be like the original comic said that it would: https://www.google.com/googlebooks/chrome/index.html