PWA: What changed in 2023?

By admin
Even though

2023
DATE

hasn’t wrapped up, it’s clear

this year
DATE

is shaping up to be monumental for the open web.

Apple
ORG

,

Microsoft
ORG

, and

Google
ORG

have been dropping some pretty awesome updates – some I honestly thought would never come – making

PWAs
PERSON

an increasingly viable alternative to native apps. And many companies (yeah, including my own) are hopping on this trend.

What happened in the world of

PWA
ORG

in

2023
DATE

?

In

March
DATE

,

Apple
ORG

finally added push notifications to iOS PWAs. This was by far the most demanded

PWA
ORG

feature of all time. As I wrote

a few months ago
DATE

,

Apple
ORG

‘s push implementation is good — really good. Dare I even say better than

Google
ORG

‘s?

In

April
DATE

, @MorganWBender and team rolled out the beta of store.app – the

first
ORDINAL

-ever app store dedicated to PWAs.

In

May
DATE

,

Google
ORG

finally eliminated the service worker requirement for both

Android
ORG

and

Desktop Chrome
ORG

. Developers no longer need to incorporate a service worker for their apps to qualify as installable. Everything that simplifies the development process is a welcome change.

Come

August
DATE

, friend.tech dropped a

PWA
ORG

-only crypto app. No native app. Not accessible in the browser. You have to install it on your homescreen to use it. Probably the most ballsy

PWA
ORG

implementation I’ve ever seen.

With

Safari
PERSON


17
CARDINAL

released in

September
DATE

,

Apple
ORG

added a new "

Add To Dock
WORK_OF_ART

" button to desktop

Safari
ORG

. They’ve also increased the storage quotas assigned to

Home Screen Apps
ORG

. Another much-needed improvement was the addition of the "Add To Home Screen" button to in-app browsers that use

Safari View Controller
ORG

— that one had been on my bucket list for a long time.


Microsoft
ORG

and @diekus are also making strides with a proposal for a new

Web Install API
PRODUCT

, which if rolled out, will allow apps to be installed from other domains.

While

PWAs
PERSON

might not be the magic bullet to replace all native apps, they certainly carve out an increasingly significant niche. They will never fully take over the native app space, nor should they. But for many use cases, they’re a game changer. Universal installability, no app store commissions, instant updates – what’s not to like?