YouTube site can now be installed as a Progressive Web App (PWA) for quick access. PWAs are in oversimplified terms web pages that can work like apps on your phone. PWA support was earlier added for YouTube Music and YouTube TV. The PWA support was incorporated into the main YouTube site over the past few days. Google had recently announced that it was bringing Stadia to iOS as a PWA.
As explained by Google Developers, PWAs use modern Web capabilities to deliver a user experience that is similar to using an app. Pages in browser tabs can deliver immersive, high-level apps. In Chrome, users are prompted with a plus icon in the Omnibox, to ‘Install app’ notes 9to5Google. This is different from the ‘Install’ option in the overflow menu in Google Chrome, which has been around for a while now.
After the Youtube PWA is installed, the users get a large red play logo in the app launcher to open YouTube in a window that doesn’t have the address bar among other user interface elements. The shelf pinning feature gives the users immediate access to what’s playing.
As per reports, Google recently began enforcing a policy that would require developers to provide some form of offline functionality to make this PWA install prompt appear at the top of the Chrome browser. According to Chrome Unboxed, progressive web apps can locally cache video downloads for offline viewing like their app counterpart. Web apps require zero downloads and are becoming more indistinguishable from regular apps by the day.