Chrome OS “packaged apps” are on their way out, and will be replaced by the company’s offline-friendly “desktop apps” standard. Google announced, it will stop support of all legacy packaged apps by June 2015 and remove their listings from its Web Store by this December.
Though Chrome works primarily with Web apps, which still aren’t required to run offline, it also supports local software. In 2010, the company had introduced “package apps,” a form of software that installs and runs locally using the browser, but does not have to function offline. In 2013, the company introduced “desktop apps,” another form of local software that is independent of the browser and is required to work with or without an Internet connection.
Today’s announcement puts the final nail in the coffin of packaged apps. Desktop apps run in their own windows, launch directly from your desktop and are more secure, offline friendly and powerful.
Google’s latest blog post states that legacy packaged apps will no longer work in Chrome beginning in June 2015, and starting today, apps that are in that format will not be listed in the Web Store.
Google also recently blocked the installation of apps downloaded outside the Chrome Web Store, making it harder for developers to get around the company’s restrictions. The lack of apps that worked offline was a big complaint against Chrome OS, and with this new restriction, Google is encouraging developers to build more native software.