All the way back in 2017, Google announced that it would phase out support for Chrome apps on Windows, Mac, and Linux in favor of Progressive Web Apps. At the time, however, PWAs were pretty much basic websites that weren’t as well-built as a native application. Over the last couple of years, PWAs have evolved quite a bit and today they can easily replace native Android applications for a lot of services. Due to the significant improvement in the quality of PWAs, a few services are now choosing to set up their PWA as the default option on the Play Store for Chrome OS devices.
As per a recent post from Chrome Unboxed, Twitter’s PWA has now replaced its native web app as the default option on Chrome OS. This means that Chromebook users installing Twitter from the Google Play Store will now get the Twitter PWA instead of the Twitter app for Android. It’s worth noting that this is the first time a service has replaced its native app with a PWA on the Play Store and this goes to show how much PWAs have evolved over the years. Along with Twitter, YouTube TV has also made its PWA the default option on Chrome OS and it’s no longer listed as incompatible with your device on the Play Store.
The change doesn’t have any effect on the end-user and installing the aforementioned apps on a Chromebook will work just the same. Users will get the same uninstall dialog like any other app on the Play Store and the PWAs can even be removed from your device directly from the Play Store. The PWAs will be installed just like any other service, with the only exception being that it won’t be an Android APK anymore. As of now, Twitter and YouTube TV are the only two services to replace their native apps with PWAs on Chrome OS, but we expect more services to jump on the bandwagon in the near future.
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