The web is a powerful thing, with the right capabilities you can create tools and services that can be deployed without a central authority and can also deeply integrate with the peoples devices. I love being able to tinker and scratch an itch quickly. The itch in question was that I'm a heavy user of .new domains and I wanted a quick way to have access to them on my Android home screen so that I can start a task without having to find the app, go through its menus and then create the "new" thing.
I thought this was rather cool and I discovered it by accident, but it looks like Twitter implemented shortcuts. It's great to see web sites and web apps being able to do things that users expect installed applications to be able to do.
A simple web app that helps you with Crosswords and Codewords
I had a little down time after Google IO and I wanted to scratch a long-term itch I've had. I just want to be able to copy text that is held inside images in the browser. That is all. I think it would be a neat feature for everyone. It's not easy to add functionality directly into Chrome, but I know I can take advantage of the intent system on Android and I can now do that with the Web (or at least Chrome on Android).
Years ago, I did some research into how native applications responded to a lack of network connectivity. Whilst I've lost the link to the analysis (I could swear it was on Google+), the overarching narrative was that many native applications are inextricably tied to the internet that they just straight up refuse to function. Sounds like a lot of web apps, the thing that set them apart from the web though is that the experience was still 'on-brand', Bart Simpson would tell you that you need to be online (for example), and yet for the vast majority of web experiences you get a 'Dino' (see chrome://dino).
A great article and video and sample by Thomas Steiner on good push notifications on the web. A particularly bad practice is to pop up the permission dialog on page load, without any context at all. Several high traffic sites have been caught doing this. To subscribe people to push notifications, you use the the PushManager interface. Now to be fair, this does not allow the developer to specify the context or the to-be-expected frequency of notifications.
A nice post about PWA from Mike Elgan. I am not sure about Microsoft's goal with PWA, but I think our's is pretty simple: we want users to have access to content and functionality instantly and in a way they expect to be able to interact with it on their devices. The web should reach everyone across every connected device and a user should be able to access in their preferred modality, as an app if that's how they expect it (mobile, maybe), or voice on an assistant etc.
You should be able to create and edit videos using just the web in the browser. It should be possible to provide a user-interface akin to Screenflow that lets you create an output video that combines multiple videos, images, and audio into one video that can be uploaded to services like YouTube. Following on from the my previous post that briefly describes the requirements of the video editor, in this post I just wanted to quickly show in a screencast how I built the web cam recorder, and also how how to build a screencast recorder :)
You should be able to create and edit videos using just the web in the browser. It should be possible to provide a user-interface akin to Screenflow that lets you create an output video that combines multiple videos, images, and audio into one video that can be uploaded to services like YouTube. This post is really just a statement of intent. I am going to start the long process of working out what is and isn't available on the platform and seeing how far we can get today.
PWA. Progressive Web Apps. Frances Berriman and Alex Russell coined the term "progressive web apps" in 2015 with what I think is a seminal post "Progressive Web Apps: Escaping Tabs Without Losing Our Soul". 3 years later, we've come a long way. From a loose collection of technologies - Service Worker, Manifest, Add to Homescreen, Web Push - that were originally only implemented in one browser engine, to a brand that has started to stick across the industry with businesses and developers, and all of the major browser vendors implementing the majority of the 'PWA' stack.
Philip Walton has an awesome deep dive into a new API the Chrome team has been working on to give you (the developer) control over how to respond when the browser unloads your tabs. Application lifecycle is a key way that modern operating systems manage resources. On Android, iOS, and recent Windows versions, apps can be started and stopped at any time by the OS. This allows these platforms to streamline and reallocate resources where they best benefit the user.
Pete LePage writes about important changes to Add to Homescreen in Chrome Add to Home Screen changes If your site meets the add to home screen criteria, Chrome will no longer show the add to home screen banner. Instead, you’re in control over when and how to prompt the user. To prompt the user, listen for the beforeinstallprompt event, then, save the event and add a button or other UI element to your app to indicate it can be installed.
A great overview of Pinterest's PWA The verdict Now for the part you’ve all been waiting for: the numbers. Weekly active users on mobile web have increased 103 percent year-over-year overall, with a 156 percent increase in Brazil and 312 percent increase in India. On the engagement side, session length increased by 296 percent, the number of Pins seen increased by 401 percent and people were 295 percent more likely to save a Pin to a board.
Sam Thorogood from our team writes: You've designed a webapp, built its code and service worker, and finally added the Web App Manifest to describe how it should behave when 'installed' on a user's device. This includes things like high-resolution icons to use for e.g. a mobile phone's launcher or app switcher, or how your webapp should start when opened from the user's home screen. And while many browsers will respect the Web App Manifest, not every browser will load or respect every value you specify.
Dean Hume's been doing a lot great work with PWA's recently, and he's also been exploring a lot of the new platform API's, in this case the Generic Sensor API: The Ambient Light Sensor API provides developers with the means to determine ambient light levels as detected by the device’s main light detector. This information is available to developers in terms of lux units. If you are building a Progressive Web App and you want to style it differently depending on the light levels in the room, then this could be the feature for you.
Jeff Posnick writes, wrt to Workbox A common source of unexpectedly high quota usage is due to runtime caching of opaque responses, which is to say, cross-origin responses to requests made without CORS enabled. Browsers automatically inflate the quota impact of those opaque responses as a security consideration. In Chrome, for instance, even an opaque response of a few kilobytes will end up contributing around 7 megabytes towards your quota usage.
Possibly the world's best jake.
Share Target API is now in Chrome breaking down one of the last silos of native platforms
Use onappinstalled to detect when a progressive web app is installed.
Topicdeck is the module that aggregates a selection of RSS feeds into a tweetdeck style view
An aggregation of our GDE's content
Building Progressive Web Apps progressively is possible. This is how I did it.
Possibly the world's best airhorn now as a custom element
If there is no one around to read your tweet, does it make a difference?
TL;DR - Here is a demo Code Our team has built a lot of Progressive Web Apps recently to demonstrate how we think they can be built: Airhorner, Voice Memos, Guitar Tuner, SVG-OMG are a few that spring to mind. One thing that is common across all of these sites is that they have no server component to store and synchronise data. We built these sites as examples and reference implementations of the types of experiences that we can deliver on the web, they were never intended to be full "Apps" that you would build as a business.
The web is changing, we need to adapt
The fastest QR Code scanner on the web
How do you find ideas for web apps and why is it important to build apps that push the platform?
It might be a hard sell, but there are number of advantages to using the web.
A spent a while living just with web apps. Here is my report.
Possibly the world's best airhorn.