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.Read More
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.Read More
Progressive Web Apps (or PWAs) are fancy web-based applications that can mimic some of the functionality of native apps while taking up minimal storage space on your device. Because they're so small, they're pretty great alternatives to installing apps you'd use infrequently. Discovering which services you use have PWAs can be tricky, though — and that's where Appscope comes in.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More