Progressive web app (PWA) is a type of application software delivered through the web, built using common web technologies.
Since it is a type of web page or website, PWA does not require a separate bundling or distribution. Developers can just publish their web apps online, and ensure that they meet baseline "installability requirements", and users will be able to add the application to their home screen, and access them by tapping on their icons.
Just like how they would when they are interacting with installed native apps.
In other words, PWAs bring mobile or laptop experiences, to websites.
PWAs have taken the world by storm, and this time, Google is introducing its popular Meet app as a PWA, so more people can use it will even less requirements.
It began back in April, when Google was testing pre-installed Meet and Chat web apps on Chrome OS, so users wouldn’t have to manually visit these sites via the browser’s address bar, and would instead be able to connect via message and video to colleagues and family members out of the box.
This time, Meet is rolling out as a PWA, and users can install it.
To get started, users can simply visit Google Meet's website through their browser, and there, they will notice a PWA install prompt in the top-right of the Chrome's address bar.
Tapping or clicking on it will show a dialog box that asks users if they would like to ‘Install’ Google Meet.
Selecting 'Install' will make the entire tab to open on its own window.
There, users can login to PWA version of Google Meet and access all of their chats.
They can also launch Meet as a PWA, by tapping or clicking on the Meet icon that has been created as a shortcut.
PWAs are designed to work on any browser that is compliant with the appropriate web standards.
As with other cross-platform solutions, the goal of PWAs is to help developers build cross-platform apps more easily than they would with native apps.
In general, PWAs are smaller in size than their native apps counterparts.
This is why the PWA version of Meet has no new features compared to its app counterpart.
The advantage of Google in introducing Meet also as a PWA is that, the company can make the video-communication service more accessible.
The downside of this is that, this PWA Google Meet may have more limited functionality, because it cannot access data from other apps or software.
Other limitations of using PWAs is that, the apps cannot intercept SMS or calls, get a user’s phone number, and so on. They also cannot use indoor geolocation, and have no access to Bluetooth or other sensors.
Also, PWAs generally have no access to consumer data such as contacts and social profiles, and a very limited iOS capabilities.