Google Play Billing is Coming to Progressive Web Apps

Posted on December 9, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Dev, Google Chrome with 0 Comments

The Chrome team announced today that it is bringing Play Billing to Progressive Web Apps (PWAs), allowing web developers to sell digital goods and subscriptions using the new standardized Digital Goods API in Chrome 88 and newer.

That announcement was made today at the Chrome Dev Summit, along with some additional milestones. Among them is the release of Manifest V3 (MV3), which is focused on user privacy.

“Extensions are a powerful way to personalize the Chrome browsing experience, so we wanted to give [developers] more tools and guidance to write more secure extensions and disallow extensions that deploy remotely hosted code,” Google notes of the announcement. “We’ve provided further privacy controls for users to manage their sensitive permissions after an extension is installed. Manifest V3 is available to experiment with in the Chrome 88 beta and updated extensions can be submitted to the Chrome Web Store starting January 19 when Chrome 88 hits stable.”

Other announcements include:

More PWA improvements. In addition to being able to access the Play Billing system, PWA developers can now list their apps in the Google Play Store to improve discoverability.

Privacy Sandbox improvements. Chrome’s Privacy Sandbox is an initiative to develop standards that allow personalization on the web without sacrificing privacy. Today, Google announced that it is developing a new Privacy Sandbox-based alternative to cookies and a way to block extensions that deploy remotely hosted code.

Improved memory and disk usage. Chrome now uses less memory and disk space, and thanks to improvements to the V8 engine, Google has eliminated parsing pauses by loading a webpage’s JavaScript files in parallel. So now scripts are parsed and compiled and ready to execute as soon as they’re needed by the page.

There’s more on the way of course—Google is, for example, examining the use of content-visibility, a CSS feature that significantly improves UI rendering performance—so you can expect more Chrome-related announcements in the near future.

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