Google and Microsoft will support more web apps on Android
Microsoft has wholly given up on its own mobile software platform and has increasingly decided to support its services on Android. It will be launching the Surface Duo – a foldable dual screen Android device – and has also spent a lot of resources on its native apps on Android. It isn’t ending there, though.
According to Thurrot, Microsoft is collaborating with Google to bring more progressive web apps to Android devices through the Play Store, and importantly, making sure it is of the highest quality. Apps built using Microsoft’s PWABuilder tool will use Google’s Bubblewrap utility and library to take advantage of new features, including a new standard for web shortcuts, “deeper” push notifications and visual customisations.
To put it plainly, it means Microsoft apps will feel more like optimised mobile apps rather than desktop apps shrunk down to fit on your Android phone. According to Microsoft, the expanded features will not require significantly more effort to implement properly, thanks to the tools provided by Google.
“We’re glad to announce a new collaboration between Microsoft and Google for the benefit of the web developer community,” Microsoft’s Judah Gabriel Himango announced. “Microsoft’s PWABuilder and Google’s Bubblewrap are now working together to help developers publish PWAs in the Google Play Store.”
“Google and Microsoft are working together to make the web a more capable app platform,” Himango concludes. “We’re also collaborating with Google on Project Fugu to incubate new web platform features, with PWAs front and center, toward the goal of standardization so everyone benefits.”
Don’t expect any of these features to drop right away, however. It is still in development and testing, but will start rolling out in the months to come.
The benefits to this relationship is a two way street, of course. Microsoft’s toolkit will now be used by more creators, while Google benefits from more developers who build Android-friendly web apps instead of rerouting people to a generic app within a browser.