The recent trend from a number of major operators is towards progressive web apps (PWA). There’s plenty of good points to them, particularly if you’re a regular, heavy user of the service. Google has transitioned Duo, Photos, YouTube Music and most recently Drive to PWA. There are reports out of the USA that YouTube TV users (a US exclusive service) are being prompted to install the PWA for the service.

YouTube TV is actually a really attractive option offering an array of over 70 channels with a plethora of entertainment. It’s another subscription services but is a streaming equivalent of the cable (Foxtel for us Aussies) operators in the USA.

What is a PWA and its advantages?

It’s a piece of software build essentially on web delivery standards (HTML, CSS and Javascript) that is then installed to your machine. A PWA gives some fairly significant advantages over using a web interface for products like Google Drive:

  • You can work offline and sync your data when next online
  • You can receive push notifications – applicaiton dependent
  • As its installed directly, the applications can access device hardware
  • You can also give users an experience similar to what users would get from native applications on their platform

While YouTube TV is a USA-only service at the moment, I’m hopeful that we may see something similar in Australia in the future. The feature addition is as easy as every other PWA we’ve seen to date:

YouTube TV’s Progressive Web App is quite straightforward with the service’s red icon leveraged for your dock or desktop. The address bar and other browser UI disappears as the program you are viewing is listed above.

But that got me thinking… What’s next?

I really hope, and at this stage believe it’s possibly, a YouTube PWA for a few reasons. The first being that they’ve already done the hard yards with YouTube TV so it seems logical to be a relatively easy next step. Of course, sources will be different but the video encoding and back end should be somewhat similar.

From a personal standpoint, I’d also love a way to get YouTube out of my tabs and into its own app. Currently, I often run YouTube videos through VLC so I can have a small window to watch through. That’s not an ideal solution though, so having a Google-based option would make me very happy.

What Google service would you like to see moved over to a PWA?

Source: 9to5Google.
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Adrian Lee
Adrian Lee
8 months ago

If you are using Google Chrome you can get a mini player window without using VLC by double right-clicking the YouTube video player content area on the desktop YouTube website, then selecting the “picture-in-picture” option from the context menu.