Microsoft’s new Chromium-based web browser Microsoft Edge supports progressive web apps (PWAs) that users can install in the browser.
A Progressive Web Application more or less offers features of native applications and web applications. The apps are designed to work on any platform provided that these platforms or programs that run on these platform support PWAs.
Progressive Web Applications may support a number of extra features such as offline capabilities or better performance when compared to standard web services.
Whenever the new Microsoft Edge detects the availability of a Progressive Web Application, it displays an install icon in the browser’s address bar next to the favorites icon.
If you visit the Twitter website, you will get the install icon and may activate it to install the Twitter PWA on the system. Just click on the install icon to display the installation prompt.
Options to install the application or to cancel the operation are provided.
Another option to install a PWA is to click on Menu > Apps > Install this site as an application. Doing so displays a slightly different prompt to install the application or cancel the process.
Installation of a Progressive Web Application is usually very fast. The new Progressive Web Application is launched in its own window after installation; ready for use.
One of the core features of PWAs is that they run in their own windows and not as a tab in the browser (even if you only have one tab open it is still loaded in a tab in a browser window).
PRogressive Web Applications come without browser chrome. While they do have a titlebar, they lack other interface elements such as tabs, an address bar, or other controls such as bookmarks.
They do have a simple menu attached to the window controls that you may activate to control some functionality; among the options are to open the site in the browser and to uninstall the application.
Options to print, search, zoom, copy the URL, and cast are also available. Progressive Web Applications are added to the list of installed programs on the operating system just like any other program that is installed natively on the system.
How to launch the apps?
Multiple options are available to launch installed Progressive Web Applications. You find the installed listed on the “manage apps” page of the Edge browser that you may load using the edge://apps/ URL. Edge lists them under Menu > Apps as well so that you may launch these directly from there.
Last but not least, any installed PWA is also added to the operating system’s Start menu from where they may be launched just like any other program.
How to uninstall PWAs?
Uninstallation is straightforward. You may open the edge://apps/ page and click on the x-icon next to any installed application to remove it from the system.
Edge displays a verification prompt; select remove to uninstall the application. You may check the “also clear data from Microsoft Edge” option to clear data associated with the PWA.
PWAs may also be uninstalled from the operating system’s Settings application or application management interface.