Google brings Progressive Web Apps (PWA) to Android with Chrome 57 Beta

Progressive Web Apps (PWA) as a new way to deliver amazing user experiences on the web, denotes new application development method, whereby mobile applications behave more like a hybrid of regular web pages (or websites) and mobile applications.

As the line between traditional apps and web pages, PWA attempts to combine features offered by most modern browsers with the benefits of mobile app experience.

This new functionality will be rolling out to Chrome 57 beta over the next few weeks, providing users the ability to add Progressive Web Apps to the homescreen as regular mobile apps.

PWA mimics the experience of traditional apps by caching a version on the device for offline use; meaning even if you don’t have an internet connection, you’ll still be able to use the web service, as it combines the availability of locally-installed software and the flexibility of online services.

It employs the "service worker", a client-side proxy written in JavaScript, which puts you in control of the cache and how to respond to resource requests.

Meanwhile, developers would have some works to do in order for the regular apps to qualify as PWA, as a secure server (HTTPS), for instance, is necessary and a responsive design that works on both phone and tablet devices.

Hence forth, Web apps that support the new feature will get the option to “Add to Home screen”; and the app’s icon will show up in the launcher or any other app management system on the device.

Progressive Web Apps should not be confused with Instant Apps, which is another experimental web app system by Google. PWA will support Android version starting from v4.3 (Jelly Bean) and above.
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