Google made some important announcements concerning its Chrome browser which lays down the path the browser would be taking a few years down the line. For instance, the Chrome apps are on the way out but would be culled in a phased manner depending on the platform it is being run on.
It’s going to be June 2020 that one would be seeing the last of the Chrome apps on Windows, Mac and Linux. There is a six-month extension for users of Chrome Enterprise and Chrome Education Upgrade in which case the Chrome apps would be dying in December 2020.
Google also added that support for Chrome apps on Windows, Mac and Linux will end on December 2020 while the same for the apps on Chrome OS will be on June 2022. Of course, the apps on Chrome OS would be dying earlier than that, June 2021, to be precise.
The above development, however, shouldn’t come as a surprise as this was already being speculated for some time. Google had earlier announced in 2016 about the impending demise of the Chrome apps. It also shouldn’t be making any impact as such given that the apps weren’t in use anyway.
According to Google’s estimates, the Chrome apps were used by just about one per cent users. That was in 2016 and there is no reason to believe the figure might have swelled up in between. For those still hanging on with the apps, well they now know till when they have time with the apps before deciding to move on to something else.
In another important announcement made by Google with regards to its Chrome browser, the search giant said support for tracking cookies on the browser would be ending in 2022. This is a somewhat delayed approach that Google is adopting given that its competitors such as the Safari and Firefox have already announced an outright ban on third-party tracking cookies on its site.
The reason for Google to delay the end of support for cookies on Chrome is understandable though considering that much of its ad revenue stream is dependent on that. Cookies contribute to ad revenue by providing an insight into the users by tracking their online activities. Google is aiming to hit the middle ground, that of assuring users of their privacy while keeping its ad revenue stream intact.
Google, however, warned doing off with cookies will only lead to other tracking methods like fingerprinting to become popular. This again is harder to detect compared to cookies and could pose to be a serious security risk in the long run.
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Google meanwhile is looking to put in place other technologies that would behave just as cookies did but while upholding user’s privacy. Such techniques will lead to advertisers to have an idea of the user’s behaviour without revealing their identity. If things indeed work out the way it has been planned will mark a huge shift in the way cookies have behaved so far and the way advertisers dependent on them as well.