Google backs off requirement for PWAs to have offline support


17, 2021

Google has been at the forefront of pushing Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) as an alternative to regular applications, but it seems the company has realized it is moving just a bit faster than developers can keep up.

Google has for some time allowed websites to be installed as applications if they met basic PWA requirements (e.g. having a manifest) but in February this year, Google said they would limit this feature if a web app did not have offline capability. Chrome 89 would perform an automated test on the PWA and if it did not pass it would not allow the installation of the website as an app.

The plan was for this requirement to be enforced starting in August 2021 with Chrome 93, but Google has now updated their guidance regarding the requirement, putting it on hold indefinitely, saying:

Updated April 14th, 2021: We previously announced plans to update the installability criteria to ensure a PWA actually provides an offline experience. After listening to your feedback, and discovering a number of issues, we have decided to put those plans on hold. We strongly believe providing a valid page when the user is offline is critical to providing a good user experience.

Google recommends even a basic page that informs users that the app does not offer any features when offline would be preferable to displaying the Chrome Dino game, and we assume in time as developers and automated tools improve this would become a non-issue.

via 9to5google

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