Progressive Web Apps aren’t reaching their potential at scale. I just spoke about how I think it’s important for the Web to push on its own vision as a platform, but as a universal app platform (one of the key segments, along with content and commerce) it isn’t hitting the mark, mainly on mobile. What if we rethink the web platform, and embrace the “progressive” quality to allow for escape hatches on top of web standards as an interop layer for maximal reach?
The default mode of evolution on the web is deliberate. This gives us a nice eventual consistency across multiple implementations, but there are times in which it is held back too much and at those times I think it is important for us to break out of the mold, branch off and prove value, while always looking to merge back in the future. We are at one of those times, and here is why our current situation isn’t working for users and developers (and thus the platform).
People go to app stores to find apps. On desktop, the browser as a virtual machine kinda works, and there is enough real estate for the browser chrome to be a feature not just a bug. On mobile that isn’t the case. And expecting users to understand Add to Home Screen is swimming upstream. And of course, there are plenty of uncanny valley situations when using a PWA. It doesn’t come across when you migrate devices. It doesn’t show up across an ecosystem (e.g. widgets, watches, notifications on some platforms, etc).