back to article Google killing app format used only by The 1%

Chalk up another fail for Google, which has decided it's time to do away with Chrome apps on Windows, Mac OS and Linux. Chrome what? “Chrome packaged apps”, dear reader, an effort Google launched back in 2013 and suggested could offer a great way to package apps for multiple operating systems that launched from within Chrome …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh....

    ..is that what the button in Iron is for.

    Meh.

  2. Adam 1 Silver badge

    well that's annoying

    Don't use them much but there is a handy little tool for drawing sequence diagrams and the like which relies on it that I'll miss.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: well that's annoying

    draw.io? If so that is already available as a web app.

  4. Adam 1 Silver badge

    Re: well that's annoying

    Don't mind draw.io. it does have an XML format so it can be versioned but it's more definitions of points etc. This one had a simple syntax that worked nicely with diff tools and was much quicker to create a simple diagram in it than draw.io.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: well that's annoying

    More than annoying. I have been on contract with a company which has put their eggs in that basket so I imagine they won't be pleased. And I would imagine that will be an understatement.

    Those who never use packaged apps will not miss them. For those who do it will require some thinking on how to rework things for non-Chrome OS users. Developing for Chrome OS made sense when packaged apps also catered for cross platform deployment, but when that is gone it is likely to be back to native app development and tough luck for Chrome OS users.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: well that's annoying

    > I have been on contract with a company which has put their eggs

    > in that basket so I imagine they won't be pleased.

    Well, anyone who trusts Google to continue with supporting their products in the long term is clearly unaware of how Google operates.

    There's enough precedent for this kind of behaviour that I personally would avoid placing any firm reliance on any Google product.

    Google has a number of core products that are likely to remain indefinitely -- GMail, Analytics, Adsense Maps, and of course Search. If you're using those, then you're probably safe (albeit you've been suckered into feeding your most intimate data into the Google machine). Anything else with the Google (or Alphabet) name on it is suspect and you should full expect them to pull the plug on any functioning product with minimal notice.

  7. heyrick Silver badge

    Re: well that's annoying

    "There's enough precedent for this kind of behaviour that I personally would avoid placing any firm reliance on any Google product."

    Yup. :-( Just discovered Translate on iOS7 no longer works (can't correct to server) and the updated Translate works on iOS8 or later...

    [no, I don't plan to update; mine's a 16GB model and I don't fancy installing an OS twice the size of the last install with no clear additional benefit - there's going to be a lot of space wasted on features I don't need nor want]

    Replaced it with a shortcut to the website but that's hardly the same thing...

  8. Sebby

    Re: well that's annoying

    Those who never use packaged apps will not miss them. For those who do it will require some thinking on how to rework things for non-Chrome OS users. Developing for Chrome OS made sense when packaged apps also catered for cross platform deployment, but when that is gone it is likely to be back to native app development and tough luck for Chrome OS users.

    Precisely. The worst part of this is the network effect it will have on ChromeOS, which needs a packaged app ecosystem of some sort to be credible. Maybe native offline web apps is the replacement, but I'm afraid it'll probably be more along the lines of the ARC and Android portability.

    Well, anyway, probably no more gamebooks for me for when the Internet isn't there on my ChromeBook for a bit. Guess I'll just have to turn to my iPhone for exactly the same apps, and pay more for the privilege.

    Google is very good at this sort of thing, isn't it?

  9. Jess

    You can trust Google to support their new ideas..

    .. as much as you can trust Microsoft to support non-x86 family processors.

  10. DaLo

    1%

    With regards to Chrome users, that is quite a lot of people!

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Trollface

    Re: 1%

    yes, but they can't be arsed about those, no money in it.

  12. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    So they had cross-platform web apps

    But then they decided to throw them away because they got bored and wanted to focus on their ping-pong game.

  13. sabroni Silver badge

    Re: So they had cross-platform web apps

    Web apps are cross platform by definition....

  14. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Re: So they had cross-platform web apps

    Even more so if there's a standard way to manage and launch them.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: So they had cross-platform web apps

    No, single platform, Chrome only.

  16. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Re: So they had cross-platform web apps

    It was ChromeOS, Chrome/Windows, Chrome/Mac, and Chrome/Linux. This means it'll just be ChromeOS.

  17. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Re: So they had cross-platform web apps

    Google's Chrome team is fully behind the "Progressive Web Apps" of which the packaged apps were a precursor. As PWAs take off, you see a button on a website to install it, there is no need for the additional packaging.

  18. caffeine addict Silver badge

    Re: So they had cross-platform web apps

    Web apps are cross platform by definition....

    True. Until some idiot in a suit tries to run it in IE6 or on his old WinPhone device. Not that either of those ever happen to me... *sob*

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: So they had cross-platform web apps

    Web apps are cross platform by definition.... except when done by Microsoft. Or Google.

  20. Mutton Jeff
    Joke

    Power to the peeple?

    Theee 1% ?

  21. Rob Crawford

    Oh Bugger

    The 1% probably multirotor owners (no it's not a drone)

    Anybody who runs Cleanflight, Betaflight or Baseflight or wants to flash SimonK speed controllers will be very irked

  22. Joshua Murray

    Re: Oh Bugger

    Me!

  23. Alan Bourke

    "Which was, and is, surely the best place to start developing almost anything these days?"

    Quite a lot of things. Far from 'almost anything'. Browser is still a bad choice for many applications. And remains an ever more complex pain in the tits to develop for.

  24. Andrew Richards

    I'd use actively this Google stuff...

    ... if I had any hope they'd keep them going. Got burnt once with Google Latitude (personally, the most useful thing that wasn't search; and I know alternatives exist but...).

    After Wave, G+, that home-automation thin they bought and killed, etc. why bother? "Just" Android, Chrome, search and maps; everything else is ephemeral.

  25. WibbleMe

    This is a consistent thing with google, it does not market its product features enough to the none IT population, as a result, most don't use what Google as created. So really the only have themselves to blame.

  26. Jon Gibbins
    WTF?

    As a daily Chromebook user this news is quite annoying.

    For every brilliant feature and advancement they put into Chrome and ChromeOS, they take another great one away. They're making ChromeOS more and more distant from Chrome on all other operating systems that I fear it's going to become far to niche to maintain and they'll just throw the towel in, rendering thousands of existing users' perfectly serviceable laptops useless ...

    (Queue 'useful' responses such as: 'Why do you have a Chromebook in the first place?', 'ChromeOS is garbage' and other such classics.)

  27. sabroni Silver badge
    Happy

    Why do you have a Chromebook in the first place?

    ChromeOS is garbage!!

  28. DougS Silver badge

    ChromeOS is gonna get axed

    Google loves to knife their products if they can't get popular the way their major products are, which doesn't bode well for ChromeOS. But far worse for ChromeOS's life expectancy is the talk about "merging" ChromeOS and Android.

    Given that Android has a userbase hundreds of times larger, that means "give Android an optional desktop interface" and ChromeOS goes buh-bye. Hopefully an interface that doesn't remind one of Windows 8.

    This announcement is probably the start of the ChromeOS phaseout, to insure developers don't waste any further time on it.

  29. Andrew Jones 2

    I do find this quite irritating, I use Chrome Remote Desktop frequently, and while Authy can probably be an extension and Secure Shell can probably be a PWA, I don't know if "open web technology" will allow Chrome Remote Desktop to run without any additional software. People keep telling me that Google will have their reasons - and I just keep thinking - yeah they told us when they removed the notification center that they would replace it with something more useful, and they didn't - so now apps and websites can send us push notifications which if we don't see them within 10 seconds then vanish into oblivion. Clearly this is so much more useful than having a central service which collects these notifications so that we can review them when it is convenient to do so.....

  30. RogerT

    Chromecast

    Chromecast is supported by an app so mine is going to become obsolete in early 2018.

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