Google is now replacing some Android apps for Chromebooks with web apps or Progressive Web Apps (PWAs). PWAs are basically webpages that look and feel like the usual traditional app.
In many cases, PWAs are faster and more functional than traditional Android apps. They require less RAM capacity and less storage to run, which should be a welcome development for Chromebook owners. PWAs also run in Chromebooks/Chrome OS without hurting battery life.
Dominick Ng, manager on Chrome OS Apps Platform at Google, posted on Twitter about how challenging the project was. He said:
It is so gratifying to see a) our strategy so clearly understood, and b) some of the most challenging and satisfying engineering work I’ve ever done make it out to the world. https://t.co/PMPcbsiQB7
— Dominick Ng (@dominickng) April 9, 2020
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Progressive Web Apps had always been available in the Play Store, however, with the change, they are now the default versions Apps for Chromebooks.
This means that when Chromebook owners search apps that have a PWA version in the store and click on “Install,” Google recognizes the device as a Chromebook/Chrome OS. Then it installs the PWA version by default as opposed to the Android versions. Play Store also will not be giving Chromebook/Chrome OS the choice of installing the Android versions.
At the moment, YouTube TV and Twitter are the only apps supporting the new functionality on Chrome OS.
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