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Articles Tagged:

pwa

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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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Opinion: Mobile web apps are finally becoming an alternative to native apps

For over a decade, web-based applications have been replacing native programs - at least on the desktop. I manage my calendar with Google Calendar, check my email through Google Inbox, chat with fellow AP members in Slack, listen to music through Plex and Google Play Music, and talk with friends on Discord and Hangouts. Every single one of those services is available as a web app.

While web apps (and web "native" apps using frameworks like Electron) have replaced many traditional programs on the desktop, the same is not true for mobile. Native applications are not only the norm, but the only option for most services and applications.

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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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Google wants Progressive Web Apps to replace Chrome apps

The Chrome Web Store originally launched in 2010, and serves as a hub for installing apps, extensions, and themes packaged for Chrome. Over a year ago, Google announced that it would phase out Chrome apps on Windows, Mac, and Linux in 2018. Today, the company sent out an email to developers with additional information, as well as news about future Progressive Web App support.

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Firefox 58 beta brings Progressive Web Apps, FLAC support, and more [APK Download]

Over a month ago, it was revealed that Firefox 58 would allow Progressive Web Apps to be added to the home screen. The Firefox 58 beta has made that a reality, and it's also brought with it some more new features, including FLAC support and two new locales. However, the Firefox Search widget is gone from the home screen.

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Firefox 58 will let you add Progressive Web Apps to the home screen

In case you aren't familiar with them, Progressive Web Apps are web apps tailored to function like native applications. They're designed to be fast and work offline, with the ability to be added to the home screen. Chrome has been leading the charge on PWAs for a while now, most recently allowing them to be installed to the app drawer, just like native applications.

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Twitter Lite is a new mobile Twitter web experience built with slow networks in mind

Twitter is launching a new mobile Twitter experience built as a Progressive Web App. Google has been touting PWA for many months, culminating in the latest announcement that they would behave like native apps, which is exactly what Twitter Lite is built around.

Lite is a browser "app" meaning it doesn't need to be downloaded on your phone, it's just easily accessible at mobile.twitter.com, with additional features available only to compatible browsers on Android. The aim is for the page to be light, load quickly, and consume little data so that it's fast and responsive even on slow 2G connections. There's also a more extreme data saver mode that only previews images and videos in a blurry state to reduce consumption and let you choose specifically which ones you want to load.

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Chrome Beta 58 adds support for full-screen Progressive Web Apps, minor UI changes, and tweaks to Custom Tabs [APK Download]

Chrome 58 has graduated to beta status, moving one step closer to the stable channel. This time around, Google has been working on new features for Progressive Web Apps (and normal sites), improvements to Chrome Custom Tabs, and more.

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