Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Web apps on Windows are getting closer and closer to their native counterparts

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Shreya Christina
Shreya has been with for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider team, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

Progressive web apps on Windows are more like native Windows apps than ever before. Thanks to a new feature that Microsoft just announced, the Window Controls Overlay, developers can now customize the title bar of their PWAs.

Previously, web apps couldn’t access this feature, which could lead to empty space, clashing colors, and other quirks that made some PWAs look decidedly non-app-like. The new feature should help developers fix these issues. Web apps can now access the “full surface” of their app window, with the exception of only the top right buttons – minimize, etc. remain untouchable.

“Recently, with many new web capabilities in the Chromium browser engine and UX changes in Microsoft Edge and on Windows, installed desktop web apps are really starting to look and feel like native apps,” senior program manager Patrick Brosset wrote in a statement. blog post for Microsoft. “While native apps were able to display content anywhere in the app window, including the title bar, installed web apps have been forced to work with the default experience, making them visually different. We’re excited to announce the availability of a new PWA feature that bridges this gap and helps blur the line between apps and websites even more.”

A screenshot of the Todoist progressive web app on Windows.

Yes, I downloaded the Todoist PWA to take this screenshot.

This may not be shocking news to anyone who regularly uses PWAs. Microsoft developers originally proposed the feature in January 2020 and presented it with: a demo web app. Chrome started supporting the Window Controls Overlay as a beta feature in apriland the feature made it in Chrome 105 back in August. Now that Chrome and Edge both support the tool, it looks like this new look for web apps could become fairly widespread.

“We believe that PWAs are excellent for creating desktop web applications. It’s never been easier to turn your website into an app that truly feels like it belongs on a desktop, and with the Window Controls Overlay feature, you can create desktop apps that look much more modern and appealing to your users. the message from Microsoft.

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