Chrome 91 has just hit the first few phones, and while you might not notice too many differences on the surface, there are quite some things going on if you know where to look. The most significant visual changes you'll see on Android are probably the redesigned website buttons and forms, like those you can see in the weekend polls of our own website. But there's more going on. Let's dive in.
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.
Platforms live or die on the backs of developers, without which we wouldn't have apps or services to run on them. Microsoft had that figured out years ago, and Google has learned all about it when it comes to Android. Now Google is stepping up its efforts when it comes to developing for (and on) Chrome OS, highlighting Chrome OS's new customizable Linux terminal, while also announcing support for the Android Emulator on select Chromebooks and a whole new website for ChromeOS developers, plus a handful of smaller changes.
Google introduced a new way for developers to package web applications into Android apps last year, called Trusted Web Activities. The web apps run inside a modified Chrome Custom Tab, which meant that if your default browser wasn't Chrome (or based on Chrome), they would default to running in Google's browser. Firefox for Android has now added support for TWAs, so if Firefox is your default browser, the apps will run inside a Firefox container instead of Chrome.
Chrome 84 entered beta just a few weeks ago, but it's already rolling out on the stable channel across all platforms. This is one of the most significant Chrome updates we've seen in a while, with a few removed features and new functionality for both regular people and developers. Let's dive right in!
Progressive Web Apps are becoming more and more capable, mostly thanks to the rapid pace at which the Chrome team is adding new APIs. Last month's release of Chrome 81 brought badges to web apps installed to your device (though not on Android), and now another improvement is on the way — home screen shortcut support.
Web apps come in all forms and shapes, but Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) are some of the best as they're basically a marriage between native applications and websites. On Chrome OS, they come as close as can be to proper programs, many complete with offline support. If you're used to working with Windows or macOS, PWAs might make it easier for you to get through your workday at home, but you can also use these on any platform to enhance your productivity.
Progressive Web Apps (often shortened to PWAs) are web apps designed to closely mirror the functionality of native apps, with features like offline support and notifications. Earlier this year, Google introduced a new technology for compiling PWAs into Android apps for submission to the Play Store, and now Samsung is inviting web apps to its Galaxy Store.
Chrome's Progressive Web Apps (or PWAs, for short) are a pretty nifty way for developers to get a website to look and behave more like a native app. AP's own Corbin Davenport built a watermarking PWA that works cross-platform for us, and there's a whole store full of great examples for use on Chromebooks, Android, and even your desktop. Since they can be made to look and act like native apps, Google is planning to give Windows users the ability to uninstall them like native apps via the Control Panel.