How To Transfer Your Favorite Web Apps To Desktop Apps


As you can noticed, we do most of our computing through web browsers today. Websites and web apps can take care of everything from watching movies to creating spreadsheets to checking emails.

If you think about the desktop programs you use most often, for most people it can be limited to an image editor, a web browser, and maybe an office application. Working in the cloud is the norm now, and the trend is only going in one direction. (Microsoft still allows you stream Windows via a web browser now.)

Because of the difference between online apps and desktop programs being more obscure, it’s now possible to set up some of the most popular web apps on your Windows, macOS, or Chrome OS desktop. It uses so-called progressive web apps, or PWA, and we’ll explain everything you need to know.

Defined Progressive Web Apps

Progressive web apps are a definite difference from web apps. Not every app you can run on the web is a PWA. For an online app to qualify, it must be built in a specific way by its developer and use a specific set of coding standards that will enable it to stand alone as a desktop program.

Some of the better known examples of PWAs are Twitter, Spotify, Google Chat, and Uber, but much is added all the time. Both Google (understandably) and Microsoft are pushing the idea that PWAs are part of the desktop ecosystem. So the easiest option for setting them up is through Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge browsers.

Chrome OS can place entries for web apps in its main launcher.

Chrome OS by David Nield

If you switch from using a site like Twitter in the browser to using it in a PWA, you won’t immediately see much difference. PWAs are essentially websites that run on a desktop program wrapper, so much of the functionality is the same. However, you can treat them just like desktop applications, and that brings a lot of benefits.

This means you can easily manage these apps from the taskbar (Windows), dock (macOS), or shelf (Chrome OS). Installing PWAs also means that notifications from these apps can be managed at the operating system level, and that notifications from your browser are treated differently. They can be found in the main application list, and you don’t have to open your browser to use them.





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