After Twitter, Google replaces YouTube TV app with its PWA version for Chromebook users, here’s what it means
As confirmed by Dominick Ng – Tech Lead/Manager on Chrome OS Apps Platform, this treatment that was given to Twitter last week is now being given to Google’s YouTube TV as well.
A simple scan through the social media website and forums will be enough to realise that Android apps built for Chromebooks don't play well most of the times. They are not well optimised and certainly take more space and internet data. So, Google is trying to solve this problem by replacing Android apps with PWAs or Progressive Web Apps. As confirmed by Dominick Ng - Tech Lead/Manager on Chrome OS Apps Platform, web apps/PWAs, security UX to Chrome Unboxed website, this treatment that was given to Twitter last week is now being given to Google's YouTube TV as well.
So, what are PWAs? Progressive Web Apps act like your regular apps but show web pages, mimicking the traditional UI of the app. This means less usage of data and storage space on the device. These are also faster since the web pages load quicker than the heavy UI elements. Furthermore, the struggle to optimise apps for tablet-sized screens is no more with PWAs.
The report points out that now when users will download Twitter of YouTube TV app from the Google Play Store, the platform will recognise that you are on a Chromebook and will download the PWA version of the app by default instead of the traditional app. Just like any other app, it will show an icon on the app tray and will have the same uninstall dialog. You can even remove it from the Play Store like a regular app and toggle the push notifications.
We are yet to see if Google applies the same trick to all its apps or not.
Talking about apps, a report by App Annie from last week states that Google's Play Store charted significant growth in the first quarter of 2020 compared to the same time last year. This time coincides with the virus outbreak and by extension with an increased smartphone usage.