Google says desktop web app installations nearly tripled in 2021

Google says desktop web app installations nearly tripled in 2021

Web apps have been popular on desktop computers for well over a decade at this point, but over the past few years, newer APIs and capabilities have made them even more capable. Google has also been pushing for web apps in Chrome to be “installable” on desktop PCs, just like they are on Chrome for Android, and the results are impressive.

Google wrote in a blog post on the Chrome OS development portal today, “Just like the web, Progressive Web Apps (PWAs)⁠ are more capable and powerful than ever. Fueled by the open web and powered by the latest web APIs — not to mention easy to discover and monetize on Google Play — PWAs enable web developers to create reliable apps that users can install and enjoy. And that user base is expanding fast. Since the beginning of 2021, desktop PWA installs have grown by 270%.”

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Considering many people simply use Progressive Web Apps in the browser as normal websites, that jump is impressive — nearly three times as many people are using web apps more like native applications compared to the start of 2021. Chromebooks are also seeing a rise in the number of Android app installations, with an increase of 50% in 2021, as Google previously shared a few months ago.

Most of the recent work on Progressive Web Apps in Chrome (and browsers based on Chrome) has come from Project Fugu, which the Chromium team describes as “an effort to close gaps in the web’s capabilities enabling new classes of applications to run on the web.” Some examples of new functionality from Project Fugu include the Web Bluetooth API, WebUSB API, Web Share Target (which allows web apps to appear in Android’s share menu), Web Share API Level 2 (which allows images and other files to be shared from web apps to native apps), Contacts API, and dozens of other helpful features.

Source: Chrome OS Dev

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Corbin Davenport
Corbin Davenport

Corbin is a tech journalist and software developer. Check out what he's up to at corbin.io.

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