As we continue to see progressive web apps storm the Play Store in place of traditionally packaged apps, a new development to the PWA install dialogue has been revealed. Upon looking at the image below, you’ll notice that it looks a whole lot like a Google Play Store app listing. It has a description, an install button just like an app, and a carousel of screenshots displaying its features. As developers begin to adopt this new ‘rich’ PWA install prompt, it will appear more often on Chrome for Android.
I believe that the web has grown up enough that an informational pop-up like this is necessary now, more than ever, in order to help inform users about what they’re preparing to install. As we look more and more to the web for our experiences, it only makes sense that they should be treated in the same way as downloadable apps. If Google continues with this approach, we may even one day see star reviews and other information for web application install prompts that is prominently featured on Play Store listings for them.
Companies like Twitter and Google have already begun to embrace the idea of replacing their app with a web app on the Play Store, and this development shows that a future where that becomes the standard is not as far off as some believe. Little did I know when I wrote that the Chrome Web Store could become the ultimate destination for web applications with a little facelift that Google was about to do that very thing on the Play Store instead. Maybe one day we’ll see it become a more popular destination for PWAs than something like Appscope – a website that’s been ahead of the curve on this for years.
In order to trigger this new prompt style, developers will simply need to add two properties to their site manifest – “screenshots” and “description”. If you’re interested in contributing with your site, you can check out the instructions to get started. If you’re a user, just enable the #mobile-pwa-install-use-bottom-sheet flag on your mobile browser and restart it. Twitter is the only site that seems to be using it so far, but keep an eye out for more and let us know in the comments if you encounter any others!