Progressive Web Apps, a.k.a. PWAs, are becoming more prevalent with each passing day. Platforms such as Twitter, Google Photos and News, Spotify and even Starbucks have all jumped on the bandwagon and their respective PWAs are as good, if not better than the Play Store APKs. The best part is that PWAs are installable directly from the Chrome browser and they take up substantially less space than traditional Android applications. New features are being added all the time and soon, PWAs will look and act no differently than their more resource-heavy counterparts.
Yup, PWAs are awesome and we love them. Thankfully, Google is behind Progressive Web Apps 100% and we’re even seeing PWAs being installed natively via the Play Store. While there are still some things to iron out with that process, it’s a great move and many users will never notice any difference. Yet, PWAs still suffer from one, distinct obstacle. Visibility. Two years ago, Robby wrote a little piece on the state of PWAs and at that time, he pointed out that the #1 issue with Progressive Web Apps was the discovery of said apps. Sadly, two years later, that is still the case.
PWA.rocks, the one site that attempted to catalog PWAs, appears to be down for me and I’m not sure why or if it is permanent. That is unfortunate for fans of PWAs but the good news is that another site has sprung up to fill the void. The PWA Store, co-founded by Matt Ruddy, is managed by a group of developers “who are really passionate about Progressive Web Apps and believe in the flexible nature PWAs provide.” The site, which of course is installable as a PWA, offers a clean, searchable database for PWAs that are user-uploaded and that meet Google’s Lighthouse requirements. This ensures that the PWA lines up with Google’s quality check for web pages and includes the following categories:
- Progressive Web App
- Best practices
If you have a PWA and you’re looking to get it on the map for users to see, the PWA Store is a good place to start. While Google is making it easier to get Progressive Web Apps into the Play Store, it is still difficult to discern which apps are PWAs or a way to manually choose one over the other. Having a catalog of Web Apps that is free to use and easy to search is a welcome sight and I hope that the team over at the PWA Store finds success in aiding users in discovering the best PWAs from the web. If you are interested in submitting your PWA, simply head over to the PWA Store and sign up for free. Make sure your app passes the Lighthouse Report and get your PWA in the fold. Kudos to Matt and his team for taking on this project.