Google’s Chrome app launcher says bye bye to Windows, Linux, Mac desktops in July

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While Microsoft is currently working to bring extensions to its still barebones Edge browser on Windows 10, Google plans to streamline its Chrome browser in the coming months. The company announced yesterday that it will soon get rid of its Chrome app launcher on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux as it found that users “prefer to launch their apps from within Chrome”.

If you’re not familiar with it, the Chrome app launcher automatically installs as soon as you install a Chrome app from the Chrome web store (Chrome apps are glorified web apps that try to deliver an experience comparable to a native app). The Chrome app launcher uses a Start menu-like UI, and while it perfectly makes sense on Chrome OS as these are the only kind of apps that the OS can run, the launcher never made a lot of sense on other desktop operating systems.

The Chrome app launcher next to the Chrome Web Store.
The Chrome app launcher next to the Chrome Web Store.

So, if you ever used the Chrome app launcher on your desktop PC, Google warns that a removal process of launcher will take place over the next several months:

Beginning in a few weeks, Chrome will no longer enable the launcher when users first install a Chrome app. Anyone who currently has the launcher will receive a notice informing them that the launcher will be going away. In July, existing instances of the launcher will be removed.

Despite the launcher removal, Chrome apps are here to stay and they can still be accessed by clicking the apps shortcut in the bookmarks bar or by typing chrome://apps in Google Chrome’s omnibox. While many like the Chrome browser (and some of its extensions), most won’t miss the Chrome app launcher and we think Google can do even better to remove the feature bloat on Chrome. Please tell us in the comments if you ever used Chrome apps and the Chrome app launcher on your PC.

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