Google has launched a new YouTube Progressive Web App (PWA), which enables the website to work like an app on your phone. PWA support was earlier added to YouTube Music and YouTube TV.
Google had recently announced that it’s bringing its Stadia Cloud gaming service on iOS as a PWA. Google Developers say that PWAs use modern web capabilities to deliver an app-like user experience. “They evolve from pages in browser tabs to immersive, top-level apps, maintaining the web’s low friction at every moment,” the company says in a blog post.
When on YouTube.com on Google Chrome or any other browser, a small plus (+) icon appears in the address bar, which prompts users to “Install app”. The is different from the browser’s manual overflow menu ‘Install’ option which will install the YouTube app on your device and has been there since a while.
Clicking Install will launch YouTube in a new window that lacks the address bar and other UI controls in order to provide a more dedicated experience. There is also a YouTube shortcut in the app launcher for quick access.
YouTube TV had got PWA support in January last year and YouTube Music got the same in October 2019. In November 2020, Google announced that its cloud gaming service will finally come to iOS, but will be a PWA instead of a full-blown Google Stadia app.
In 2018, Google Photos was made available as a PWA. Twitter additionally launched its PWA on the Microsoft Store for cellular and desktop platforms in 2018.
Google says that a Progressive Web App uses the app shell model to provide app-style navigations and interactions and fits any form factor, desktop, mobile, tablet, or “whatever is next.”