If the smartphone that you’re currently using has limited RAM and storage, chances are you only install a limited number of apps and just rely on the web version or if you’re using Chrome as your browser, the Chrome apps that are available. You can also look for lightweight versions of the apps which a lot of companies are doing now with Facebook Lite and the whole Android Go apps. It looks like Google is also pushing another format as they have now added Google Photos to their small but growing list of apps that are available as Progressive Web Apps.
In case this is the first time that you’ve come across with the term, the Progressive Web Apps or PWA is a website version of an app that has been coded in a way that you can look at it and experience it like an actual app. Sounds like Chrome apps? Well, they were actually just placeholders until the PWA could truly come to being. And Google has decided that this year will be when Chrome apps will be phased out. Currently, the apps that are on PWA are the following:
* Google Contacts
* Google Maps
* Google My Business
* Google Codelabs
* Google Santa Tracker
* Google I/O from 2015 to 2018
Now you can add Google Photos to the list. However, don’t expect it to be as fully functional as the other apps, at least for now. What it actually does is just add a shortcut to your launcher icon or your Android home screen (and your desktop if you’re using a laptop or PC). If you already have Google Photos installed as an app on your phone, then this doesn’t really bring you anything new. But if your phone can’t afford to have the actual app installed, then having a shortcut to the PWA version will be pretty helpful. We can probably expect more functionalities for it later on so that it will live up to its Progressive Web App name.
But what will it mean for Android Go? If that is also something you haven’t heard of before, it’s a stripped down version of the Android Oreo version that optimizes three aspects: operating system, Google Play Store, and Google apps. It is meant for entry-level smartphones and will supposedly make apps run faster than the regular version, even though your specs are lower than the flagship or mid-tier ones. Google has also released Go versions of several of their apps including Files Go, Gmail Go, Google Go, YouTube Go, Gboard Go, etc.
Will Go apps and PWA versions cause confusion among users? Probably. Will they appeal to different sets of users? Maybe. Will you choose between the two? Most likely. Will Google still develop both? Well that is the million dollar question. There are certain people who will still prefer to have apps but the lightweight version while there will be those who can make do with a web app version. Let’s see which one Google goes with in the long run.
VIA: Android Authority
June 5, 2018 at 02:42AM