Now YouTube is Going PWA Too

Posted on January 26, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Dev, YouTube with 13 Comments

15 months after it converted YouTube Music into a Progressive Web App (PWA), Google has done so with its flagship YouTube web app as well.

There’s no announcement that I can see, but then there’s not much to discuss here: The only change is that you will now see an “Install YouTube” (or similar) link when you browse to the site using a modern web browser like Microsoft Edge. Once installed, YouTube will appear alongside your other apps in Start and will run in its own window, instead of a browser tab.

But that’s about it: According to various reports, Google has done the minimum to make YouTube a PWA, and the web app does not support key PWA functionality like offline usage or downloading. That’s OK: I still prefer using many apps in this mode, and just converting to PWA opens the door to further improvements.

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Comments (15)

15 responses to “Now YouTube is Going PWA Too”

  1. sherlockholmes

    Paul, question:


    whats the difference between a naitive PWA and a PWA you can create with Microsoft Edge?

  2. kenosando

    I finally started using Google Podcasts and noticed it also is a PWA.

  3. RobCannon

    I've been using YouTube as a PWA in Edge for many months. I tried installing it and it worked (even though an icon didn't pop up). It makes it nice to keep the YouTube tabs out of my browser tabs, but I don't think there is any other functionality.

  4. crunchyfrog

    PWA's still confuse me. Are these the way of the future or just a fad? Is this mainly for mobile?

  5. Chris_Kez

    In reply to lvthunder:

    Perhaps, but with Safari being kind of locked down as well I don't know how much better that is for Google. And I imagine there are fewer features available to a PWA vs. a native app on iOS.

  6. b6gd

    Do ad blockers work with it? I never see an ad in YouTube with the right ad blockers.


    update - They do, at lease via Microsoft Edge.

  7. UnciasDream

    How did you get the dark scroll button on the right of YouTube no matter what I do YouTube doesn't force it into dark mode.

  8. nerdile

    I wonder how many people are using PWA's today and not knowing it, through Windows, Xbox, and mobile app stores.

  9. bmcdonald

    Very curious why (using Edge Chromium (88.0.705.53 ) - when I go to www.youtube.com - all I get is the normal You Tube site (where I am signed in) and see my subscribed channels and so on - but there is no "Install YouTube" link to be found anywhere.


    What am I missing?


    B

  10. qaelith2112

    Great time for Mozilla to be dumping development of PWA support in Firefox, eh? Just as more sites become available as PWAs.

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