Microsoft is moving Windows away from universal Windows apps into the world of the progressive web apps as a focus, and as the primary app interface.
Progressive web apps are a set of web-apps which are built to be more than web-apps, they will come with notifications, offline support and integration with the native OS. In short, they are web-apps which can pretend to be apps on short notice.,
Sn example of this is the Twitter progressive web app, it replaced the old UWP Twitter app and brought a powerful up to date one which the firm is slowly building out to integrate with Microsoft’s newest features.
Personally, I’m not sold on progressive web apps being a panacea for Microsoft’s Windows Store woes at this point.
In terms of Twitter, the firm has always supported Microsoft’s whims with Windows Phone 8, Windows Phone etc. It’s not entirely clear that we can tell the success of PWAs as an app platform on Windows from a single app. Which brings me to my second concern, no other major developer seems to be bringing apps to the platform.
You’d think Google would be all Carpe Diem about it, but they seem content with Chrome as their main app gateway. For Microsoft Store lovers, the firm offers an app which has been maligned as a glorified web-wrapped. One wonders if the app would be embraced now that Microsoft has embraced what would be uncharitably called “glorified web-wrappers”.
Microsoft itself has pushed out a number of web apps of dubious quality if the reviews are any indication (reminiscent of its attempt to push out hosted web apps to prop up windows phone years ago), many of which would simply, make sense as a browser tab.
I’ve seen progressive web-apps, and they’re a good example of how the web can be powerful, What I don’t see them as is as a replacement for native apps. After all, why run a countdown mobile.twitter.com, when the real Twitter.com is just a click away? And why give up the freedom of a browser interface for a single window experience if you’re ultimately using a web-app?
Over to you folks, what do you think of Microsoft’s Progressive web apps push?Let us know in the comments below.