Play Store Now Accepts PWAs Which Use Trusted Web Activities

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Progressive Web Apps (PWA) using the Trusted Web Activities (TWA) API are finally supported on the Google Play Store following its 2017 announcement.

TWA is an API for PWAs which allows web content to be displayed in fullscreen with system-level features and limited native code.

Some will note the existence of PWAs like Facebook Lite, Instagram Lite, and Twitter Lite on the Play Store. Most of these use WebView and required a lot of added native code for things like notifications.

TWA allows web developers to publish PWAs with native features without having to write a lot of added Java/Kotlin code.

As noticed by developer Maximiliano Firtman, Google is now allowing PWAs to be published and discovered on the Play Store.

In a post explaining the advantages of PWAs on the Play Store, Firtman highlights the following possibilities:

  • Offer a Home Screen Widget
  • Offer App Shortcuts (when you long press the app’s icon) and other deep integrations with the OS
  • Offer a wear OS companion app or Android Auto extension
  • Have background services accessing native features (communication with the PWA is still limited — more on this later)
  • Monetize the App — limited today, more on this later
  • Have some native screens mixed with PWA content
  • Distribute more than one PWA icon in the Launcher and/or home screen pointing to different URLs (within the same host)
  • Better internationalisation support

The API to support TWAs shipped in Chrome 72.

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