Progressive Web Apps on Windows

Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) provide access to open web technologies for cross-platform interoperability and provide your users with a native, app-like experience customized for their devices. PWAs are websites that are progressively enhanced to function like native apps on supporting platforms. The qualities of a PWA combine the best of the web and native apps.

Discoverable

From web search results and supporting app stores

Installable

Pin and launch from the home screen, Start Menu, Taskbar, and so on

Re-engageable

Send push notifications, even when the app is not active

Network Independent

Works offline and in low-network conditions

Progressive

Experience scales up (or down) with device capabilities

Safe

Provides a secure HTTPS endpoint and other user safeguards

Responsive

Adapts to the user's screen size or orientation and input method

Linkable

Share and launch from a standard hyperlink

 

Build (or convert) your existing website to a PWA to enhance your engagement with your users. Enhancements include push notifications, app-like integration, and offline support. Continue to build your audience on the open web for users to discover your PWA through search and link-sharing. Best of all, your app is updated in using your web server code.

PWAs on Microsoft Edge (Chromium)

When you build a Progressive Web App targeting web standard APIs, your application may be deployed across platforms and devices and take advantage of the device-specific capabilities as available. PWAs in Microsoft Edge (Chromium) add the following advantages to your website.

  • Your app is built on a standards-based web platform.
  • Enables your users to install your app directly from the browser.
  • Enables your users to install your app without a Store-based deployment or registration.

Desktop PWAs are supported on any of the platforms Microsoft Edge (Chromium) is available. Microsoft Edge (Chromium) is available on Windows 7, Windows 10, and macOS. The following benefits are included.

  • Applications may be installed directly from within the browser using the Install icon in the navigation bar.

    Install application flyout and icon

  • Applications may also be installed, run, and managed from the Settings > Apps menu

    Application menu items under settings

  • Web Notifications are integrated into the Windows notification system

  • Shared cookie store with the browser profile that installed the app

  • Access to other browser features using the Setting and more (...) menu including certificate validation, site permissions, tracking protection, and browser extensions

  • Full access to Microsoft Edge DevTools for debugging your app

Important

To tailor PWAs specifically for Windows 10 that make WinRT API requests using JavaScript, navigate to documentation specific to the EdgeHTML PWA features. Learn more about testing your PWA on Windows 10 and distributing it in the Microsoft Store.

Note

For more information about PWA benefits, upcoming features, and short demos, navigate to Build 2020 PWA session.

Requirements

To run as a PWA, your server-hosted web app should include following minimum requirements.

Protects your users by providing a secure connection for server or app communication. Service Workers and other PWA technologies only work with web resources served over a secure connection (or from localhost for debugging purposes).

Uses Service Worker threads to act as network proxies between your server and client app. Service Worker threads provide offline support, resource caching, push notifications, background data sync, and page-load performance optimizations.

Provides a JSON-based metadata file that describes key information about your web app, so that Windows 10 and other host platforms provide your PWA users with an installable, native app-like experience. Key information includes icons, language, and URL entry point.

To be a great PWA, your app must also meet the following requirements.

Ensure your PWA works by testing in different browsers and environments.

Employs fluid layouts and flexible images. Responsive design includes the following elements that adapt your UX to your user's device.

Uses device emulation tools from your browser to locally test, or create a remote debugging session to test directly on a target device.

Routes each page of your site to a unique URL so existing users may help you engage an even broader audience through social media sharing.

Uses code quality tools like the Webhint linter to optimize the efficiency, robustness, safety, and accessibility of your app.

Verifies your PWA against the Google baseline PWA checklist.

Note

To turn your PWA into a Microsoft Store application, navigate to Progressive Web Apps (EdgeHTML) in the Microsoft Store.

See also