Desktop App ๐ŸŽ‰

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I might be a little late to notice this, but PWAs can now be installed as Chrome Apps ๐ŸŽ‰

Here's Dev Community on my desktop:

Dev Community

I've always had the app on my mobile homes screen and it's very exciting to have it on my desktop as well.

What do you think?

BTW, with the latest update on Chrome (I'm on Version 76.0.3809.100 (Official Build) (64-bit)), Chrome will show an icon (a + sign in a circle) in the omnibox if a PWA meets Chrome's install-able requirements.

And if you don't see it, you can always click the three dots menu in Chrome and click "Install Progressive Web Apps..." and it will give you a prompt to install it on the desktop, much like Add to Home Screen ๐ŸŽ‰

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I got confused between the app and the PWA, because you can have them both installed and they have the same icon.

I have no idea what benefit the app gives you over the web page, so have no reason to try it out.


Chrome apps act kind-of like native apps on OS. You can search them in your Spotlight Search/Start Menu/Dash etc.

A webpage, well, is a webpage. It's accessible when you open a browser and hit the URL.

A PWA, essentially, is just a website that you can install (now in both desktop and mobile) and an icon will appear on your desktop/home screen.

When you launch a PWA, you are just launching a browser stand-alone window that can access that specific website without you entering the URL. Think of it as a Bookmark which will appear among the applications installed on your OS.

With future updates, hopefully, developers will be able to provide custom functionalities in their PWAs when they are installed.


This is what I thought, the PWA might have some static abilities via javascript, but it's basically a web page. The native app, though... I don't know what its selling point is. An entire separate version of the website in order to give you the exact same experience as the website but seach for it in your OS's launcher? Can't most launchers cope with things like browser windows anyway?

I'm interested in any possible functionality that the website can't give me, but I just don't know what that is.

Well, that's your point of view and I certainly respect that.

But, PWA definitely has some advantages over websites. Some of the big eCommerce companies are shifting towards the PWAs and they have seen pretty good increase in their numbers and stuff...

I personally think that this is really a good idea as compared to having users to ask to install a native mobile application to provide better mobile experience. A native android/ios applications are bigger in size anyways than a website that runs in the browser and when that website can be installed as an application on your OS without opening an app store and even in less size, I think, it makes a difference.

But you always have the ability to not install/add to home screen any PWA if it prompts to do so!

... and as a shameless attempt to show-off, right now, I am working on a project for a very famous international brand and they spent two months on research and stuff and decided that they would expire their mobile apps and provide support for only PWA. So, we are developing the PWA for them now ๐Ÿ˜‹

PWA definitely has some advantages over websites.

Can you give me any examples?

I understand how a couple of features can work offline, like setting your preferences and so on, but the site is a forum - it's entirely online content being displayed in a feed or as individual posts. It can't work offline without having downloaded the entire database of posts and comments up front.

Letโ€™s take the example of Whatsapp on your phone. When there is no network, you can still open the app, check past messages and even reply to someone. When the phone gets the internet connection, the messages are being automatically sent in the background.
This is what PWA promises to provide in web apps. It enables web apps to load when there is no network, sync in the background and seamlessly do things while providing a native-like experience for your users.

This is a good read!

But what features do you imagine could remain working on a site like I can see maybe writing a draft post, though since you wouldn't be able to link to any images or other remote content it would be quite limited.

But it'd still be an option. You could read your bookmarked posts and stuff.

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