A Google Chrome App, or commonly just Chrome App, is a 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 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".
On January 15, 2020 Google announced that Chrome will begin phasing out support for Chrome Apps across all operating systems starting in March 2020, with support for Chrome OS available until June 2021.
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.