Google has announced that support for Chrome Apps on Windows, Mac and Linux, which were first launched in 2013, will slowly end over the next two years, and stop completely by 2018.
In a blog post, Google stated that a few years ago, it felt like apps were the best way to offer customers features like offline use, connecting to hardware and more. Now it feels those same experiences can also be handled on the web:
As we continue our efforts to simplify Chrome, we believe it's time to begin the evolution away from the Chrome apps platform. There are two types of Chrome apps: packaged apps and hosted apps. Today, approximately 1% of users on Windows, Mac and Linux actively use Chrome packaged apps, and most hosted apps are already implemented as regular web apps. We will be removing support for packaged and hosted apps from Chrome on Windows, Mac, and Linux over the next two years.
The shutdown begins late in 2016, as Google makes new Chrome apps available just on its own Chrome OS. Then in the second half of 2017, the Chrome web store won't show any Chrome apps for Windows users (extensions and themes won't be affected). Finally, the ability to actually load Chrome apps on Windows will stop by early 2018.