Google announced on February 2 that they have taken the integration of web apps on Android to a deeper level
Developers have been asking for greater integration for a long time now. Google first promised their intention to provide a greater service to them, and users, in 2015. The roll out will begin immediately, and within a few months it will become the default experience.
Previously, “Progressive Web Applications” (PWAs) were merely a short cut. The web-site would give a prompt to the user to download it to their Home Screen. When a user downloads a PWA they are 4 times more likely to re-access the site. However, the short cut was not easily retrievable for the user. This lead to confusion and a lack of cohesion.
Google have remedied this and more
PWAs will now be available in places like the “App Drawer” and will even be available offline. Already users of Chrome Canary are benefiting from these changes. In a few weeks, users of Chrome 57 beta will be able to also. Users can also open a PWA in settings, and interact with it in the same way they would a native app. Notification management replicates that used by a native app also.
This is different to the “Instant Apps” which Google rolled out in May 2016. Instant Apps enable a no commitment “streaming” app experience for users.
There is no obligation to download the app if they don’t intend to use it frequently
When they access a web site they can utilize unique app features as and when required. When a user accesses a PWA on Android, it will feel like they are accessing a native app.
The pre-cache feature will provide an interface even when network services are no available. Access becomes instant, and fast. Loading times will no longer exist. Generally, 53% of users will abandon a web-site if they have to endure longer than 3 seconds for it to load. Google have remedied this.
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