What you need to know
- Google has started replacing a few Android apps for Chrome OS with Progressive Web Apps (PWAs).
- The first apps to have been replaced with PWAs are Twitter and YouTube TV.
- Progressive Web Apps function exactly like regular Android apps, while being slightly faster and also taking up less storage.
The ability to install Android apps is one of the key selling points of Chromebooks. Unfortunately, however, not all Android apps are optimized for Chrome OS. As spotted by the folks at Chrome Unboxed, Google has quietly started replacing Android apps with Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) on the Play Store for Chrome OS.
This is great news for Chromebook owners, as PWAs are superior to the Android apps available for Chrome OS in many ways. They are usually faster, do not take up a lot of storage, and have a lower impact on battery life.
So far, Google has replaced two Android apps with Progressive Web Apps for Chromebooks – Twitter and YouTube TV. The PWAs for these two apps are also the default versions on the Chrome OS Play Store now, which means Chromebook owners can no longer install the Android builds of Twitter and YouTube TV. Once the PWAs are installed, you will be able to use them just like the Android builds. You can even uninstall them from the Play Store.
Since most Android apps that are available on Chrome OS are poorly-optimized, we hope that Google will continue to replace popular Android apps for Chromebooks with Progressive Web Apps. While PWAs have been available for a long time now, they were so far not distributed through the Play Store, which made it slightly tricky for users to find and install them.