IN THIS ISSUE: Jobs' Vision Comes into Focus; The PWA Defined; Bubblewrap an Android App; PWA Usage Guide; Google Launches Open Usage Commons; SaaS is Killing the App-Store Model;
Editor's Note: This issue of Industry News centers around Progressive Web Apps, a development model introduced by Google in 2015. The practice has apparently been gaining traction as companies clamor for efficiencies in the wake of the global economic contraction. PWAs are web sites that look and feel like native apps when visited on a mobile device. A great benefit is that they can access device hardware and features like a native app can but without the overhead associated with an app-store download.
In 2007, when PWAs were just a gleam in Google's eye, Steven Jobs famously claimed that the iPhone offered a platform for applications with "no SDK required." The idea was that web-based apps could do as much as any native app could, while being built with "Web 2.0 and AJAX" technologies. The tech has changed a lot since then, but Jobs' vision appears to be coming into sharper focus.
For those new to the concept of PWAs, this short piece provides a good basic definition of the progressive web app and their potential uses and capabilities.
It's great when a product is aptly named and its creators demur the use of trendy-looking terms with the vowels removed. Bubblewrap is a CLI tool that converts an existing PWA into a Trusted Web Activity that runs on Android devices. The video below shows how it can be done in less than 10 minutes.
The writing's a bit crude, but this article dives deeply into the nuts and bolts of PWAs, and is a good primer for developers looking to jump in.
In other news, Google has announced the formation of the Open Usage Commons, a consortium aimed at protecting projects through trademark management, conformance testing and other means. Early adopters include Angular, Gerrit Code Review and Istio. Notably, IBM is not on board.
Hefty commissions, sometimes as high as 30 percent, are not what damaged the app store model. According to a report by Capiche Research, the damage was done by competition from several key industry players, some of whose names are household words.