Firefox 58 rolling out with Progressive Web App support on Android

Firefox 58 rolling out with Progressive Web App support on Android

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Mozilla has released Firefox 58 for Android, Windows, Linux and Mac. The Android variant of Firefox has a lot of changes under the hood with the latest release. The biggest and most notable change is support for Progressive Web Apps. Progressive Web Apps have been quite popular on Android and have been supported by Chrome for quite some time now.

Progressive Web Apps are basically websites designed to work as apps. Once you visit a website that is also a Progressive Web App, you have the option to save the website as a Progressive Web App on your Android home screen and use the website just like you would use an app. Progressive Web Apps also have the ability to send push notifications just as a regular Android app would.

The best advantage of Progressive Web Apps is that they consume negligible space on your Android device. Unlike traditional apps which still take a few seconds to install and uninstall from your device, Progressive Web Apps, being completely cloud based, do not have to be installed. You just save the Progressive Web App on your Android home screen and that becomes the installation part, similarly you can remove the Progressive Web App from your home screen and that uninstalls the app.

As previously announced, Firefox 58 will now be supporting Progressive Web Apps. Many startups and companies in emerging nations are heavily invested in Web Apps considering that smartphones with low internal memory are still quite common. Companies such as Flipkart, Ola, and others have fully functional Progressive Web Apps in India.

Google Chrome started supporting PWA early last year, and PWA are even slated to replace Chrome apps in the future. The adoption of PWA by another highly popular web browser will surely open up the standard to more users, so now it’s up to web developers to decide if they want to create a PWA or pursue a native Android or iOS app.

Other changes to Firefox 58 include faster loading of web pages thanks to a change in how Firefox caches and retrieves JavaScript. Firefox now allows syncing to be limited to non-metered connections such as Wi-Fi; this is especially useful for people on a stringent mobile data plan. Full screen bookmark management with folder support has also been added. Nepali and Bangladeshi language support along with support for FLAC playback completes the list of changes that Firefox is bringing to the table with Firefox 58.

Source: Mozilla