2020 was a particular year for everyone, and Progressive Web Apps are no exception. In terms of innovation in the PWA space, it was the laziest of the last five years. Let’s see at the beginning of 2021 the current status, market share, what’s new, what’s missing, new challenges and new capabilities.

This article was originally published and it’s currently being updated at firt.dev

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PWA Market Share

I will try to answer the most challenging question: what’s the market share of PWAs? The only two companies with an accurate answer are Google and Samsung from their or WebAPK minting servers. Unfortunately, they are not sharing the data with us. Samsung disclosed a number at the end of 2019, but the company didn’t update it since then. …


What’s new, what’s missing, new challenges and new abilities

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⚠️ Updated version of this article in my new site ⏩ firt.dev/ios-14

From today, iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 are available to most users in the world. I’ve played with it, and here you have a list of the essential changes for PWA and Web Designers and Developers. As usual with Apple, some (most?) of this information was not documented at all.

This article marks ten years of writing about news on Safari for mobile (see the first article on the series). It’s been a bumpy ride, detecting many new APIs and bugs, and asking questions the Safari doesn’t want to respond. Of course, you may know about the bullying I’ve got from the team lately. …


Originally published at firt.dev.
Check it for articles, notes, and learning experiences on mobile, web, and PWA.

PhoneGap started as a project to fill the gap between the native and the Web world in 2008. Adobe announced the end of the PhoneGap product line and the end of the investment into Apache Cordova because “PWAs are increasingly bridging the gap between web and native mobile apps (…) without the need for containers.”

Is the native-web gap closed in 2020 thanks to PWAs?

Hybrid web app development started

iPhoneOS included UIWebView, a native control to render web content but without access to a lot of JavaScript APIs or a bridge to native code. …


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Two weeks ago, I published a tweet ending with “WebKit took the lazy way,” based on a recent update. It took one-word -lazy-, to make all the debate a little crazy. And it involves, sadly, the Safari team pretending being victims while disrespecting Apple’s values in the community.

This is my Open Letter to Apple employees of the WebKit/Safari team.

This is not my typical post. It involves emotions, different vocabulary, and finger-pointing to some persons that I’m not used in my writings. You’ve been warned!

The discussion is actually not about me -just a freelance web developer in case you have just tuned in-and a weird online battle with a group of Apple employees that I won’t say they represent the company but it looks close enough. …


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The sticker was created by the Samsung Internet browser team 😍

⚠️ Updated version of this article ⏩ firt.dev

It’s been more than 12 years since Steve Jobs originally presented the idea of web apps “that look exactly and behave exactly like native apps,” and it’s been more than 4 years since the term “PWA” was coined. How Progressive Web Apps look like now that 2020 is starting? What has been added in 2019 to the ecosystem that you might not be aware of? Let’s find out.

Message from the sponsor (me 😂)

Last year, I delivered several updated workshops and talks on PWAs, some of them available in video. If you are a Pluralsight subscriber check PWA: The Big Picture and if you are an O’Reilly Learning subscriber the Web Performance Basics Learning Path. …


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⚠️ Check an updated version of this article at ⏩ firt.dev

It’s that time again. iOS 13 has just been released with the new branded iPadOS 13 coming in a few days, and iPhone 11 variations being sold from today. So it’s time again to talk what’s new or different for Progressive Web Apps, web design and web development in general.

It’s incredible it’s been 9 years since my first post discovering what’s new in a version of Safari for iOS. More incredible is that Apple is not doing a better job documenting and explaining the differences today. …


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When you are interested in web performance, image compression and optimization are key aspects to consider that will impact many user-centric metrics, such as First Meaningful Paint and Speed Index. I’ve researched the image optimization solutions offered by the main CDN providers in order to identify the most relevant techniques in use today to map the differences among providers and help you pick one in case you need them. I also looked at what opportunities for improvement are still there.

Pictures are worth a thousand words… if they load

On average 51% transferred bytes on a page load are images, and more than half of those bytes are used above the fold, so they impact performance metrics. With thousands of different devices browsing the web today, offering the best image for each context is challenging. …


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⚠️ Updated version of this article ⏩ firt.dev

One year after the first initial support for PWAs on iOS, Apple released iOS 12.2 for iPhone and iPads with what it seems to be the biggest step forward in the last year, addressing the two most annoying problems we’ve been dealing with PWAs: reload effect and OAuth logins.

However, as expected, the release is not free of bugs or problems, but at least several problems I’ve reported from the first beta seems solved.

In a nutshell

I will get deeper on most topics, but if you don’t have time to read:

  • 💾 PWAs have a new lifecycle and on most normal situations, the state of your app will be saved and restored between sessions, but there is no way to kill the PWA and restart it from…


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Disclaimer: I’m not affiliated with Google Play, Chrome or any other company mentioned. This is not an official statement; usage of the logo and name is just for illustration.

⚠️ 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.

This article is an introduction and I’m working in a tutorial series, so if you are interested in that, follow me on Twitter or subscribe to my newsletter.

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. …


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A year ago, in January 2018, Apple surprised everyone with its early support for Progressive Web App technologies in iOS 11.3 beta. At that time, I published PWAs coming to iOS: Cupertino, we have a problem. Two months later, the stable release appeared and most of the bugs and UX issues remained during 2018, with new bugs coming in and out between iOS 11.4 and 12.1.

Note: Final iOS 12.2 was released, here is the updated article: https://medium.com/@firt/whats-new-on-ios-12-2-for-progressive-web-apps-75c348f8e945

Exactly one year after the first beta of iOS 11.3, Apple released last week the first beta of iOS 12.2: the first version since PWA support that responds to all the critics by offering solutions to the two biggest problems on PWAs on iOS. So yes, they took a whole year to say “we are working on this.” But wait, not so fast, I’m not saying yet that the solution is a good one. …

About

Maximiliano Firtman

mobile+web developer, author, trainer, speaker | firt.mobi

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