Google announced on Friday that it plans to stop supporting Chrome apps on Windows, Mac, and Linux over the next two years.
Beginning in late 2016, new Chrome apps will be available only to users on Chrome OS. This means that app developers will need to begin shifting their apps to web interfaces, where they’ll continue to run as apps but load in web browsers.
The next part of the Chrome-apps shift will begin in the second half of 2017, when the Chrome Web Store will no longer display Chrome apps on non-Chrome operating systems. Finally, in 2018, Windows, Mac, and Linux users will not be able to access Chrome apps at all.
The announcement comes as web technology continues to fill in the holes that Chrome apps originally patched, Google notes. In essence, Chrome apps are those built for the web, but they can be used outside of the Chrome browser, giving web users better functionality. Chrome apps enable services like working offline, sending notifications, and connecting to hardware.
By shuttering access to Chrome apps, Google is encouraging developers to look at new ways to build more engaging and better-performing web content. This includes using more powerful APIs, Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), and Progressive Web Apps (PWA), which is quickly distorting the line between web and apps. In doing so, Google is likely hoping to create a more enjoyable web experience.