Progressive web apps are great alternatives to installing applications from the Play Store, offering many of the same features at a fraction of the size. Google is constantly working to improve the experience of using PWAs on Chrome across all platforms, aiming to match what most expect from traditional apps. Going forward, developers can start including content for an all-new installation screen for their progressive web apps, with Twitter being the first to implement the changes.
Compared to the previous prompt for installing PWAs, this new dialogue feels much more like a minimized Play Store entry, offering a short description and screenshots alongside an install button. It's a significant shift away from the single-line menu PWAs have used up until this point. Although Twitter is the first service to access these options, developers can now include both descriptions and screenshots for their sites by using new tags for an app's manifest. Android users can expect these new features to appear in web app prompts moving forward as developers take advantage.
Starting today on Android, some users will get a richer PWA installation dialog on Twitter.
- Want the same for your PWA?
- Easy. Add the `description` and `screenshots` member to your manifest and you're done.
— Chrome Developers (@ChromiumDev) March 29, 2021
While a new installation dialogue for PWAs offers some benefits, this change also adds new interruptions for anyone trying to visit Twitter — or any other web page that takes advantage of these tools — within Chrome on Android. For devoted fans of web apps, a richer, more detailed experience helps bring legitimacy to every install. For everyone else, this might just be another pop-up you have to click past when first viewing a website on mobile.