Google Play Store now open for Progressive Web Apps 😱
⚠️ Updated version of this article ⏩ firt.dev
Chrome 72 for Android shipped the long-awaited Trusted Web Activity feature, which means we can now distribute PWAs in the Google Play Store! I played with the feature for a while, digging into the APIs and here you have a summary of what’s going on, what to expect and how to use it today.
PWAs can now play in the Store
Chrome 72 for Android is now shipping from the Play Store to all users and this version included Trusted Web Activity (TWA), that in a nutshell is a way to open Chrome in standalone mode (without any toolbar or Chrome UI) within the scope of our own native Android package.
Let me start saying that the publishing process is not straightforward as it should be (such as “enter your URL” in the Play Console and it’s done.) It’s also not a way to use the currently available WebAPK and publish it in the store. It’s a Java API that communicates through services with Chrome and seem to be in the early stages, so there is a lot of manual work to do yet today.
I see this as the first step and I’m sure better tooling will appear soon (maybe from the community) using these now available APIs to create a one-click to store mechanism. But with the current API, it’s possible to ship a PWA’s launcher. I will share my experience in this article for everyone interested.
For some reason, the feature doesn’t appear as shipped yet in Chrome Platform Status and there is still no updated documentation available more than the one published 15 months ago.
*UPDATE 2/5: The Chromium Blog posted a short post confirming TWAs and with some technical confirmations of this article.
*UPDATE 2/1: Paul Kinlan, Lead of Chrome DevRel @ Google confirmed TWA was shipped and docs are just delayed; the reason for the delayed official notification and docs is that the go/no-go for the feature on Chrome 72 was a last-minute decision.