The title says it all, I am considering discontinuing development on the Ape Apps Launcher.
I originally created the launcher in order to fill in the missing capabilities that were not available to my apps on Ape Web Apps
when run from within a browser. Since then though, the situation has changed considerably. Every app on Ape Web Apps is now fully and easily installable as a Progressive Web App (PWA) on Windows, Linux, MacOS, and even Android through either Chrome or Edge. Once installed, the apps all have native file system access for saving, and can even automatically launch by double-clicking on their associated file types (such as .vpp files) when the #file-handling-api feature is enabled in about://flags (soon to be enabled as standard). Installed PWA's also work without a live internet connection.
The only real remaining benefit on the Launcher is the system try access to friends notifications, but I do not think that by itself is enough of a reason to continue to develop the thing, and I do have an idea to replace that as well.
The bottom line is that there is a lot of work required to maintain the Ape Apps Launcher, and at the end of the day it only has about 300 active users during a given week. In addition, both Windows and macOS give out security warnings and require users to jump through extra hoops just to run the thing after downloading, since I am not paying for a signing certificate for the thing.
At the end of the day, Web Apps are becoming far more capable, and I think that the Launcher is largely obsolete at this point. My proposal is to discontinue the product, and in its place, offer a small Ape Apps browser extension for both Chrome and Edge that will help fill in the last remaining pieces, such as friends list management/notifications, account management, etc.
So anyway, I wanted to through the idea out there to make sure there wasn't going to be a public outcry over the loss of the Launcher. If everybody really loves it, then I can keep it around. But it does save me a ton of time to not have to keep the Launcher up to date, and I think installed web apps are the way of the future anyway. Basically, it's the same thing that the Launcher does anyway, and as I mentioned earlier, I think I can close the remaining functionality gap with a simple browser extension.