|Created by||Google and other app developers|
|Launched||December 6, 2010|
|Current status||Active, for Chrome OS only (until July 2022); support for other operating systems (Windows, Mac and Linux) discontinued in July 2021.|
A Google Chrome App, or commonly just Chrome App, is a certain type of (non-standardized) web application that runs on the Google Chrome web browser. Chrome apps can be obtained from the Chrome Web Store where apps, extensions, and themes can be installed or bought. There are two types of apps, hosted and packaged, which have different locations of their executable and are targeted at different use cases.
On January 15, 2020, Google announced that Chrome would begin phasing out support for Chrome Apps completely starting in March 2020, with support for consumers until June 2021 and enterprise until June 2022. The phasing out refers to Apps only, e.g. not Chrome Extensions. Regular web apps are still and will be, supported with Chrome, i.e. apps made for the web, not Chrome specifically.
On August 19, 2016, Google announced that it would begin phasing out Chrome Apps for Windows, Mac and Linux (both packaged and hosted) by the end of 2016, finishing the process in early 2018. The company said that such apps will, however, continue to be supported and maintained on Chrome OS "for the foreseeable future". The plan later changed, with Chrome Apps set to last until June 2022 for Chrome OS.
Chrome apps can be hosted or packaged. Hosted apps have their background web pages on a remote server and the app acts like a bookmark or shortcut; packaged apps have off-line functionality making use of local storage.
Packaged apps were launched on September 5, 2013. They have features very similar to a native desktop app, namely offline capable (by default), can interact with hardware devices, and can access local storage. Packaged apps are not confined to the regular Chrome interface and can display without a classic window menu and operating system user interface elements.
Hosted apps are the original type of Chrome apps. They contain a single manifest file that contains the URL and additional information about the app. Hosted apps are usually offline and are subject to regular web page security restrictions.