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Progressive Web Apps. Future of Apps for Android!

Progressive Web Apps
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Applications are what fuels our smartphone, for an average person there may be 20 to 80 different applications installed on their phone. And it is safe to say that not all applications are properly optimized for the device to give the utmost performance and battery optimization. In a typical android sense to install an application, you have to download the app package and install it which takes up huge space and keeps running in the background with all of its unnecessary services.

So what could be the alternative? We already have the idea of what web apps are, they are basically the web version of some particular app or the website could be some form of an app itself. Since 2015, Chrome has enabled us with the choice to put a website on our home screen as “Add to Homescreen” option. But there were limitations to the web apps like no notification, if you like to heavily customize your android there was no way to overlay the shortcut favicon icon with other icon packs and home screen was all you could put the icon and there wasn’t much you could do with the shortcut. 

Progressive Web Apps
Source: addyosmani

Fast forward to 2017, Google Chrome team has decided to take the Progressive Web Apps to whole another level. The goal of the Chrome team is to make the web apps as likely to be as the native apps. They have introduced new tools like the Lighthouse to make the web apps more mobile friendly and up to par with the Chrome Standards. These web apps will function like the native apps but will be much faster, much more integrated to the Android system and will be light on memory usage and disk usage.

What’s new for Progressive Web Apps?

  • Real time push notification
  • Apps visible in app drawer
  • Load data on the background
  • Apps visible on Application system menu
  • Customizable Icons

Improvements compared to the Typical app?

  • Reliable – Load instantly and never show the down sour, even in uncertain network conditions.
  • Fast – Respond quickly to user interactions with silky smooth animations and no janky scrolling.
  • Engaging – Feel like a natural app on the device, with an immersive user experience.

These features will be rolling out on the Chrome Canary and Chrome Dev versions. You will also be able to install web apps as apk packages. To enable the new Progressive Web Apps: Go to the flags link below and enable the option on your Chrome Dev/Canary.

hrome://flags/#enable-improved-a2hs

Progressive Web Apps is a certain thing in the near future. This will change the whole ecosystem of android apps, developers need to be both web and app aware. PWA can be the best thing that could have happened to Android.

Web Apps that fully support the New Features If you’re a developer, get started here!