They will yet be on Chrome OS for the ‘foreseeable future’
Google has just released announcements informing the public of its intentions to gradually drop support for Chrome apps on every platform in exception of Chrome OS. This exercise would commence later this year, new Chrome apps will be become exclusively available to Chrome OS users as they would no longer be accessible on other platforms like Mac, Windows Linux. (Apps already existing will yet be available and could still be updated.)
Subsequently by July next year, the Chrome Web Store will effectively stop displaying Chrome apps on those operating systems. This way Google is planing that by the beginning of 2018, users will lose the functionality of loading Chrome apps on Mac, Windows, or Linux. These changes to come will not affect themes and extensions. Practically, themes and extensions would be given better emphasis in the Chrome Web Store.
That could seem kind of elaborate but according to Google, a minute fraction of people are actively making use of Chrome apps. “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.”
What is motivating these moves from Google is that with the developments coming from the open web, Chrome apps are really losing essence and functionality. “For a while there were certain experiences the web couldn’t provide, such as working offline, sending notifications, and connecting to hardware.” Going by what Google is saying, a major percentage of those functionality holes have been fairly resolved , with more improvements being rolled in.
Thus is less uncertainty to the message: migrate your stuff to the web. “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.” The tone is quite different moving over to Chrome OS. There Google cherishes its assertions that they still play a “critical role.”