Google has recently allowed Progressive Web Apps (PWA) using the Trusted Web Activities (TWA) API in the Google Play Store.
Using Trusted Web Activities allows web content to be displayed in fullscreen with system-level features and limited native code.
Apps like Facebook Lite, Instagram Lite, and Twitter Lite are running PWAs and most of these apps use WebView and required a lot of added native code for things like notifications. Now, the TWA API will allow mobile app developers to submit PWAs on thePlay store with native features without having to write a lot of added Java/Kotlin code.
First noticed by twitter user Maximiliano Firtman, Google is now allowing PWAs to be published and discovered on the Play Store.
Firtman highlights the following possibilities in a blogpsot:
- Offer a Home Screen Widget
- Offer App Shortcuts (when you long press the app’s icon) and other deep integrations with the OS
- Offer a wear OS companion app or Android Auto extension
- Have background services accessing native features (communication with the PWA is still limited — more on this later)
- Monetize the App — limited today, more on this later
- Have some native screens mixed with PWA content
- Distribute more than one PWA icon in the Launcher and/or home screen pointing to different URLs (within the same host)
- Better internationalization support
The API to support TWAs shipped in Chrome 72.