The latest Canary version of Chrome OS has a nifty new feature. You can now install Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) on Chrome OS. These apps work offline, have their own custom window, launch icon added to the shelf, and integrate well in the overview menu.
What is a Progressive Web App
A Progressive Web App (PWA) is a web app that uses modern web capabilities to deliver an app-like experience to users. There are certain requirements that the app should meet to be called a PWA. For example, responsive, should work offline and linkable etc.
Google has been promoting PWAs a lot during their annual developer conferences, I/O. They also have a dedicated resource page for developers here. For us users, it might take a while before we actually start using PWAs on daily basis.
If you have ever used the “add to shelf’ feature on Chrome OS, this is the (very) early version of PWA. Chrome OS now has a bit deeper integration for PWA. The window title header uses the theme color, making it look almost like a native app. Apps also have easy access to open in Chrome and to sharing the URL.
Google has been quietly adding more features to Chrome OS PWA. You can read more about here in this article,
This feature has been available behind a flag for a while now. However, today, Google has enabled this by default on Canary channel. This shows that they are confident enough to start pushing this feature to users. We might see a Beta and Stable channel rollout soon.
If you are on Canary channel, here are some PWA:
Open any of these sites, go to Settings and click Install. You should see the web page turning into an app. This will automatically be added to your shelf area as well. You can remove this from the shelf if you do not want it there.
I tried the Twitter Lite app and it is working pretty smooth. I am going to give this a try and hope that I will start using Twitter more!