YouTube Music may not have had the most auspicious beginnings, but the service is quickly adding features ahead of Google Play Music's impending shutdown. Earlier this month the Explore tab started rolling out on the web, then the Android app gained a new 'Related' tab, and just last week it added the ability to swipe between songs. Now YouTube Music on the web is gaining a small speed improvement to album playback.
Twitter is making it easier to manage your tweets and replies before you're ready to send them out. The company has announced that its web app now supports saving drafts and scheduling tweets for a later time, something that's only been available through third-party services or Twitter for Business earlier.
Progressive Web Apps might not be able to replace every kind of native application, but they can be viable replacements for some apps written with the Electron web wrapper technology. The desktop app for Google's business-focused Chat app was previously written in Electron, but now the company has replaced it with a shiny PWA.
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.
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Social media platforms have maintained slimmed-down versions of their apps in the past few years to grab more users from developing markets with low-end hardware. Facebook, however, has decided to shut down Instagram Lite and is now redirecting users to the main app. The company has not said why.
Chrome OS can run both web applications and Android apps, but sometimes, the Android app for a service isn't quite as optimized for Chromebooks as the web app equivalent. Google has seemingly realized this, as it is experimenting with a new Play Store feature that installs Progressive Web Apps on Chromebooks instead of the Android app equivalents.
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.
Chrome apps are almost dead, but the idea of apps via PWAs (Progressive Web Apps) lives on. Google Drive is the latest Google service to pick up a PWA, following YouTube Music and Google Photos on its trip through the future. It's not a game-changing experience, but it can make interacting with your cloud-stored files in Drive feel a little bit more native, and it offers Drive users an app-like option now that the era of Chrome Apps is just about over.
While almost all other music streaming services have long offered proper desktop applications (or an Electron app, at least), Google has always touted that websites are all you'll ever need. Still, it would sometimes be nice to have a dedicated window for music, including support for playback keyboard shortcuts. Google has finally budged, in a way, and is rolling out a progressive web app for desktops that offers these qualities.