If you are into web development you might have heard the term Progressive Web App (PWA). It has been floating around for quite a while now and is definitely no longer considered novelty. In fact, many big publications and sites have implemented the features required to be considered a PWA.
This blog post does not aim to make you familiar with PWAs or to sell you on the idea, but I’d like to take a paragraph to at least demystify the core idea of what we are talking about before we get into how you could actually publish such an application on the Google Play store.
Progressive Web Apps :
What are the benefits of having a PWA? Many. Ranging from overall site performance improvement, the ability to serve content while the user is offline, secure content via HTTPS, the capability to install the app on many devices, including support for desktop installs landing recently.
In a nutshell, a PWA has to have a manifest file and a service worker. The manifest file (called
manifest.webmanifest) describes a number of app details, such as different logo assets, theme color, background color, app name, etc.
Service workers are essentially scripts that allow you to support offline experiences on the web. If a user has no internet connection and they try to access a route on your app, they’d normally hit issues and get no content.
What service workers do, is they install themselves on the first visit, and they can on subsequent visits serve content themselves, by intercepting the request, before it gets to the network.
The fact that a number of modern web frameworks support creating PWAs for you, so you don’t have to do much manually. That’s really slick!There are projects in React and such as Gatsby and Create React App (to name a couple), that make it trivial to get up and running with a fresh new PWA.
when Chrome’s latest PWA update dropped in Chrome 72, which added a new feature that opened up the Google Play Store to PWAs as first-class citizens. The news initially broke through a developer’s Medium post, with Google following up a few days later when it published more information about using Trusted Web Activities (TWAs): The newly released feature that allows PWAs to be hosted in its Play Store.