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Articles Tagged:

pwa

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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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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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