Microsoft Edge PWAs will soon feel more native on Windows

Microsoft Edge PWAs will soon feel more native on Windows

Microsoft has announced a bunch of improvements coming to its Edge browser at Build 2022. The new features include improvements to progressive web apps (PWAs), improvements to Edge DevTools, and more.

Starting with PWAs, Microsoft is working to make them feel more native on Windows. First off, it’s enabling new APIs that allow PWAs to handle protocols in Windows by default, so they can open specific file types or URLs, and also support the Windows share panel. Microsoft is also improving notifications from PWAs so they’re no longer labeled as coming from Edge, and instead they just show the name of the app. Microsoft has also been working on making app management easier, with a new Apps Hub in Edge and support for syncing installed apps across devices.


For developers, Microsoft is also making the Edge-powered WebView 2 available to WinUI 2/UWP apps. That way, developers can transition to experiences powered by the Chromium engine, which promises significantly better performance than the old Internet Explorer WebView. Microsoft says this is happening over the next few months, so it might still be a while before it happens. .NET MAUI is also available today, with WebView 2 available to power web experiences those apps.

Microsoft has also partnered with PWABuilder, a platform that specializes in helping developers build PWAs. PWABuilder now offers a PWA Starter project to help developers get started, plus there’s a new PWA Studio extension for VS Code to make it easier for developers to create and publish their PWAs on the Microsoft Store.

Finally, Edge is addressing complaints developers have about the included DevTools. Microsoft says users have complained the current implementation of DevTools is overly complex and overwhelming, so it’s working to simplify things. The new UI has a more compact Activity Bar that’s also customizable with any of the over 30 tools available. Other changes to the DevTools include clearer icons for each tool, a new Tooltips overlay to make it easier to see what each panel does. The new UI is available through an experiment called Focus Mode in DevTools.

Some of these features, like the new Apps Hub, are already available, at least for Edge Insider channels, but they should be coming soon to everyone.

Source: Microsoft

About author

João Carrasqueira
João Carrasqueira

Editor at XDA Computing. I've been covering the world of technology since 2018, but I've loved the field for a lot longer. And I have a weird affinity for Nintendo videogames, which I'm always happy to talk about.

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