Published: Thu, January 16, 2020
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Google is killing Chrome apps: What it means for you

Google is killing Chrome apps: What it means for you

June 2020: End support for Chrome Apps on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

In the blog post, Chrome engineering director Justin Schuh said blocking third-party cookies could have "unintended consequences that can negatively impact both users and the web ecosystem".

The initiative to remove cookies is part of Google's effort to create a set of open standards for digital tracking it first announced last August, dubbed Privacy Sandbox. Chrome Apps tried to bring in a wider user base than just one OS and pushed mainly towards device manufacturers and educators.

But given how the web has progressed, it's unlikely that Chrome apps will be missed by users.

Details: Unlike its rivals Apple and Mozilla, which started blocking third-party cookies by default in their browsers a year ago, Google says it plans to take a more gradual approach to phasing out cookies.

By the end of 2017 the apps had disappeared from the Chrome Web Store, but support from Google remained. In fact, if you visit the Web Store on anything but a Chromebook, the apps section is invisible.

"We are working actively across the ecosystem so that browsers, publishers, developers, and advertisers have the opportunity to experiment with these new mechanisms, test whether they work well in various situations, and develop supporting implementations, including ad selection and measurement, denial of service (DoS) prevention, anti-spam/fraud, and federated authentication", Google says. Although, customers who have Chrome Enterprise or Chrome Education Upgrade will have access to a policy to end support in December 2020.

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PayPal was also positive, saying that the coming together of Plaid and Visa would enable it to enhance its own products. For example, the startup's APIs give Venmo users the ability to add their bank accounts to the platform.


Users needn't worry much about their browsing experience, as Google killing Chrome apps wouldn't hinder it in any way. Customers who have Chrome Enterprise Upgrade will have access to a policy to extend support through June 2022.

December 2020: End support for Chrome Apps on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Come June 2021, Chrome will no longer support the NaCl, PNaCl, and PPAPI application programming interfaces.

June 2022: End support for Chrome Apps on Chrome OS for all customers.

Chrome apps that work offline for Windows, Mac, and Linux have been around since 2013, but Google has now committed firm dates for switching off support for them. However, developers will be able to update their existing apps all the way into June 2022.

But over the past few years, marketers began moving away from using cookies to track user browser data and instead developed better methods of tracking people across the web.

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