Easy come, easy go. Last week saw the release of new, unofficial YouTube and Uber apps in the Microsoft Store that had been developed in the new Progressive Web App (PWA) format. Both apps now appear to have been taken offline.
Because these apps were made by a third-party, it’s possible that Google/YouTube and Uber may have requested that they be removed but they were also mostly wrappers of the YouTube and Uber mobile websites as well so Microsoft simply could have removed them as some sort of quality control initiative. There doesn’t appear to be an official reason why.
PWA is a relatively new style of app that kind of work like mobile-optimized websites but have app functionality such as notifications and access to a device’s hardware. If designed well, a PWA can have just as much functionality as a traditional app.
Microsoft, Apple, and Google are all exploring PWA apps on their devices and numerous companies are already developing them due to the fact that one app will technically function on a variety of devices and in many operating systems. Making one PWA is cheaper than building multiple apps.
One example of a new PWA is the new Twitter app which is currently being tested with Windows Insiders.
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