Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) are getting support for Android-like app shortcuts from their Windows taskbar icons. This will enable users to right-click and perform frequently used actions and bring PWAs a bit closer to the native app experience.
App shortcuts are those quick actions that you long-press an app icon on Android. For example, if you long-press the Phone app icon from your homepage, you will see your favorite contacts along with an option to add a new contact.
A similar feature is available to native applications on Windows, macOS, and Linux. The code commit and the design document that we spotted today talks about adding this feature to PWAs as well. To quote the design document:
“Chromium currently supports adding PWA icons in several locations like the desktop, start menu on Windows, and the quick launch bar as part of the installation process. These shortcuts are aimed at helping users quickly launch the PWA. However, Chromium currently does not allow users to start a key task within a PWA through the quick launch bar icon menu. This proposal adds support for shortcuts defined in a Web App Manifest such that users get the same quick launch bar app icon menu experience as with native apps.”
The team is also adding a Chrome flag to test this:
“Desktop PWAs quick launch bar shortcuts menu: Enable installed PWAs to include a menu of shortcuts associated with the quick launch bar icon.”
This flag should soon be available on the Canary version of Chrome. The code and the design document talks about implementing this feature on Windows. However, the team is likely to add this to other supported operating systems as well.
On Chromebooks, you can already do this with supported Android apps. Adding this feature to PWAs will make them behave like other system apps and Android apps.
Is there a PWA that you use quite often? Let us know in the comments.