Google Pulling the Plug on Chrome App Launcher


Google will in the coming weeks start pulling the Chrome app launcher on Windows, Mac and Linux. Chrome app launcher debuted on the desktop Chrome browser three years after being on Google’s Chrome OS for a while. Google envisioned scenarios where users, having amassed a number of Chrome apps, would need a central hub from where to “launch” them. However, as the company has painfully found out, users still prefer the old school way of launching Chrome apps from their browser instead of through the app launcher.

Citing low usage (read: flop), Google is retiring the launcher. By July, all evidence that the doomed app launcher ever existed will be gone.

The Chrome app launcher is the latest casualty of Google’s unforgiving axe. In mid-October last year, Google announced that it was axing another Chrome feature ported from Chrome OS, the notification centre. Like the notification centre, the app launcher will live on in Chrome OS.

For heavy app users, typing chrome://apps in the Chrome search/URL bar should continue doing the magic while we cross our fingers for a possible shortcut to getting to the app page.