Firefox 58 for Android will bring support for Progressive Web Apps (PWAs). Here’s an early look at how this will work. And how you can test it for yourself.
First, the how: PWA support is coming to Firefox 58 for Android, and that release is currently expected in January. But Mozilla makes a beta version of Firefox available in the Google Play Store. So if you want to test this functionality, you can. I’ve moved to using this version as my default browser for now, pending any issues.
In use, this appears to work much like it does in Chrome for Android: The first time browse to a website that is built as a PWA, Firefox 58 will prompt you about this new functionality. (I’m using Twitter Lite in this example.)
On subsequent visits to PWA sites, Firefox 58 will likewise prompt you, via an unmissable dialog, to pin the site to your home screen.
If you cancel this, you can always pin it later using a new Pin to home page button in the Firefox address box.
The pinned site works just like an app, as it does when you do this from Chrome. That is, it does not have any browser UX at all, and it appears as its own process/app in the app switcher.
There is one difference: Firefox adds a little Firefox badge to the PWA’s home screen icon, whereas Chrome currently does not.
I love that Firefox is doing this. And I hope to see this capability coming to Windows as well, though of course Microsoft will be adding this support to Microsoft Edge in the next Windows 10 version too. (With further support for Store discoverability.)
Anyway, this looks great so far.