Progressive Web Apps or PWAs are a big area of focus for Google and Chrome specifically. Google is adding a new feature that will make it easy to spot and install PWAs in Chrome.
When ready, this feature will add a “+” icon in the Omnibox for PWAs. The “+” icon will replace the star icon that is displayed for regular web pages.
The star icon makes it easy for us to bookmark any web page from Chrome. A small popup is displayed when we click the star icon, allowing you to give the bookmark a name, choose a folder and save it.
Now, let us take a look at how we install PWAs now. You will click the three dots settings icon, then place your cursor over “More tools” and then choose “Create a shortcut…”.
Now, let us take a look at how this will work when the new plus icon is ready. For that, I have to enable the flag “Desktop PWAs installable from the omnibox” and restart Chrome. The description reads:
When on a site that passes PWA installation requirements show a button in the omnibox for installing it. – Mac, Windows, Linux, Chrome OS
I could not get this to work on the latest version of Chrome Canary. There was no + icon on the address bar for me. Hopefully, this will start working soon.
I will have a video demo of the whole process on Chrome Story’s YouTub channel soon. (Stay subscribed!)
I am really happy for this feature. I recently started using PWAs more. I have Twitter and WhatsApp PWA apps installed on my devices. I would love to test more such apps in the future. This feature solves the discoverability problem of PWAs.