Google and Microsoft speed up on the PWA in the Play Store: the two companies have announced a new partnership to simplify the work of publication to the developers, making it compatible with one another the respective tool, Bubblewrap Google and PWABuilder Microsoft.
The Progressive Web App can be viewed, simplistically, as the Web sites with some special features that are typical of app – notifications can be sent, for example, be used offline, have an icon in the start menu or in the drawer, and much more. PWABuilder and Bubblewrap are complementary, but not identical: the first helps the developers to create the PWA from the existing sites and publish them in the various app stores, while the second is more specific: build and sign packages of the PWA are valid for the Play Store.
The one makes up for the shortcomings of the other: PWABuilder, for example, is the only one to support the Web standard Shortcuts (which on Windows means the quick links when you click with the right button on an icon in the taskbar), while only Bubblewrap supports all the options of web activities available on Android.
Microsoft and Google are bringing the project forward for some time now, and we are the first tangible results. Relying on the Bubblewrap, for example, also PWABuilder allows developers to customize (within the limits of what allows the operating system, of course) the status bar and the navigation bar of Android, the splash screen at the launch of the app, to support better management of notifications and much more.
Microsoft has all the interest of a better management of the PWA on Android. First because it has long been a great supporter of the paradigm, the second because soon will release its first device based on this OS. We speak of course of the Surface Duo, “smartphone” with folding two separate screens that could debut as early in the summer (in advance compared to the initial predictions about the end of the year).