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Articles Tagged:

Progressive Web App

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Chrome 71 brings web apps to the Android share menu

Slowly but surely, Chrome is trying to converge native and web apps. Chrome 71 came out a few days ago on Android, but one new feature flew under the radar — web apps can now appear in the system share menu.

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Revenge of the web apps: Google moves to bridge native and web experience

Little by little, web apps have started to act more like native desktop and mobile applications. They can be added to the home screen on your phone, send notifications, work offline, and more. At today's Chrome Dev Summit, Google expressed its desire to give web apps even more abilities normally only reserved for native applications — like accessing local files.

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Android Messages desktop client is now a Progressive Web App

Google has continued to improve the Android Messages desktop client, most recently with an updated Material Design look. Perhaps in an effort to make it work better with Chromebooks (as part of the 'Better Together' feature), the Messages site is now a Progressive Web App, so it can be installed as a 'native' application.

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Chrome 70 adds AV1 video support, improves PWAs on Windows, and more [APK Download]

Chrome 69 was a massive update, as it brought a brand new interface to both desktop and mobile. Chrome 70 isn't as radical of a change, but it includes a few important new features, like support for the AV1 video codec and TLS 1.3.

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Facebook is testing a proper Progressive Web App for its mobile website

There are times you want to install a native app on your device to get the full experience from a service or social media platform, and times where you just want to visit the mobile site every now and then and not bother with having the full app. Progressive Web Apps bridge the gap between the two situations, creating an app-like experience in the browser, and they've evolved so much in recent years that they're becoming viable alternatives to native apps. For instance, it's been over a year since I've installed a Twitter client on my phone, because Twitter Lite does the job for me.

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Google Photos now available as a Progressive Web App

Now that Progressive Web Apps can be installed on Chrome for Android and desktop, we'll probably start to see more web apps make the transition. Google Maps Go was the company's first high-profile PWA, and now Google has updated the Google Photos site (photos.google.com) to function as a Progressive Web App.

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Chrome 67 brings Progressive Web Apps to the desktop, adds experimental WebXR API for VR/AR content, and more [APK Download]

Almost a full month after the beta version was released, Chrome 67 is now available on Android and desktop platforms. This version includes the long-awaited desktop Progressive Web App support, as well as a new experimental tab switcher and several new APIs for developers.

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[Update: Coming in v67] Google is improving Progressive Web Apps on Chrome OS

Near the end of last year, Google told developers that it was working to phase out apps in the Chrome Web Store, in favor of platform-independent Progressive Web Apps. While PWAs already fully work in Chrome and Chrome OS, Google has been trying to make them look and feel more like desktop programs. Kenneth Christiansen (a contributor to Chromium) has shared some screenshots of how the work is progressing, and it looks fantastic.

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[Update: Now available for everyone] Google Maps Go beta expands to the US

Google started a beta program for Google Maps Go—the lightweight low-data version of Google Maps—back in January, but at the time you couldn't actually install it on non-Go phones or in most countries. That was a bit disappointing; while the app itself might be nothing more than a shell for the PWA accessible via Chrome, it was still bound to come in handy as a shortcut for those on slower connections. Now Google has decided to let more of us in on the fun, as the beta program on Google Play has expanded to the US.

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[Update: APK Download] Google Maps Go shows up on the Play Store for Go phones, but you can give it a try anyway

Android Go, the lightweight edition of Android made for low-end hardware, officially launched about a week ago, and promised to come with several optimized versions of apps to make better use of the limited resources. We've already seen Files Go and Google Go but the Android Go site says there are more apps, like Assistant, Gmail, and Maps. The latter has just showed up on the Play Store, though it may have been available for a while but invisible.

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