Google and Microsoft have joined forces to bring more Progressive Web Apps into the Play Store by making sure their tools co-exist and help developers to do so. In a blog post on July 10, Microsoft’s Builder Community Member Judah Gabriel Himango announced, “We’re glad to announce a new collaboration between Microsoft and Google for the benefit of the web developer community. Microsoft’s PWABuilder and Google’s Bubblewrap are now working together to help developers publish PWAs in the Google Play Store.”
PWABuilder is Microsoft’s open source developer tool that helps developers build high quality PWAs from existing websites and publish them in app stores, while Bubblewrap is a Google command line tool and library used to generate and sign Google Play Store packages from PWAs. PWA is using Bubblewrap to give integration features to PWAs on Android. Both the companies in collaboration announced significant features for PWA developers including web shortcuts standard and advanced Android features & customization.
Developers can customize the appearance of the Android status bar and navigation bar in their PWAs, customise Android splash screen, change launcher name, use an existing signing key, configure package ID and versioning, fallback behavior, deeper push notification support, and more.
Google’s collaboration with Microsoft boosted last year when Microsoft launched an updated version of its open-source PWA Builder to help developers build and station PWAs to the Play Store. It might take some time before you see apps making use of the new features. However, it will definitely lead to increased number of apps with better quality reaching your phone. It’s not surprising to see Microsoft and Google working together in a project like this. This gives developers more reasons to use Microsoft’s toolkit, while Google gets more Android-friendly web apps.