Twitter Brings its PWA to Windows 10 and the Microsoft Store

Posted on March 24, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Cloud, Windows 10 with 65 Comments

While Windows 10 version 1803 will bring many nice changes, support for PWAs—Progressive Web Apps—is one of the most eagerly-anticipated. The issue, so far, is that we’ve not seen any PWAs to speak of in the Microsoft Store.

But that’s changing. Concurrent with yesterday’s release of a near-final build of this next version of Windows, we finally have a great high-quality PWA in the Store.

I am referring, of course, to Twitter.

The social network previously foisted a poorly-written app on Windows 10 users, and it was never kept up-to-date with new features. But with the move to PWAs in Windows 10, Twitter users will finally be able to see the full Twitter experience and do so using the web app I’ve been using (via Chrome) since last year.

The PWA version of Twitter is excellent, and it’s updated regularly. And once you’re using Windows 10 version 1803, this will be the Twitter app you get from the Store. (Users of previous Windows 10 versions are stuck with the old version.)

There’s even version for ARM—which makes sense, since it relies on Microsoft Edge—so it won’t require emulation to run on Windows 10 on ARM.

You can download Twitter for Windows 10 from the Microsoft Store for free. If you use Twitter, I recommend it highly.


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Comments (67)

67 responses to “Twitter Brings its PWA to Windows 10 and the Microsoft Store”

  1. Peter Vassiliou

    If this is the future of Windows on mobile, then I am all for it. The app works great. I spend a lot of time in Twitter and having a great app on Windows is a big plus. I know that I could have it on Chrome, but I don't use it. I prefer Edge.

    • PeteB

      In reply to petvas:

      It's not an app. It's a web wrappered fake app. And has no business on the desktop when browsers exist.

      The future of Windows mobile turned black when MS abandoned it. Sorry sparky.

      • Jonas Barkå

        In reply to PeteB:

        If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck...

      • Peter Vassiliou

        In reply to PeteB:

        Yes, it's not a full featured windows app, but even as a wrapper it has advantages over the app it replaced. The only thing that bothers me is that it doesn't integrate with the Windows sharing applet. Apart from that, this pwa app works very well. Yes, I know, we could run it on Chrome a year ago, but this is not important.

        Windows has no future in mobile, because the new Microsoft stopped fighting in markets where they believe that they have little chance. I am sure that if Microsoft had taken more risks, that Windows Mobile would still exist and have a fair amount of success. Microsoft is showing no vision and they are playing it safe. They stick to the cloud and do not believe that investing millions to make their mobile platform viable, is the way to go. I understand this thinking, but if you are asking me they are being short sighted. Both iOS and Android have their issues, and a third platform would be very welcome, if Microsoft decided to be serious about it.

        Anyway, PWA apps might be the way to go in the future and might give Microsoft another opportunity, but I don't believe the hype..

  2. davidblouin

    Lets see how it all goes down, but i predict two things happening before everyone get back to apps.

    -A feature war between Microsoft, Google and Apple like when HTML5 was the new cool thing

    -A couple of lawsuit in Microsoft's way for integrating any pwa they could find without asking permission.

    • allanwith

      In reply to davidblouin:

      I don’t know about the lawsuit, but I agree with you about the competition on features and on how well each browser supports PWA’s, which will not run the same on all platforms since they are essentially web pages being rendered by different browser engines. Developers will still need to make sure their apps run well in Edge to give users the best experience and obviously they will be less inclined to do so than to support Chrome, etc. Ultimately I suspect than even if this does lead to more and better apps in the Windows Store, those apps will still not run as well as on Android or iOS.

      On the flip side, anything will help and PWA support is absolutely the right play, imho, but we will have to see...

  3. rameshthanikodi links open in your default browser or in Edge?

  4. DYReclined

    A version for ARM? I don't understand why a web app (PWA) needs to be targeted for specific chip sets?

  5. skane2600

    I don't see why this is any better than just accessing twitter through the browser except for the tiny percentage of people who want to access twitter through their Windows 10 Phone (assuming it's even supported). PWAs may or may not replace native apps on Android or iPhones for internet connected functionality, but they're superfluous in any environment where such native apps are superfluous such as Windows.

    • warren

      In reply to skane2600:

      Lots of reasons:

      1) You can pin store apps to the taskbar or start menu. Remember that Win+1 through Win+0 will launch the first 10 programs pinned to your taskbar, or bring it to the foreground, so if you use an app a lot, it's really quick.

      2) Store apps use the Windows system-wide privacy settings to restrict the app's access to your file system, photo libraries, camera, etc. etc.... contrast this with Chrome and Firefox, where you are forced to give the browser access to all these things by default, then trust that the internals of the application will correctly restrict access to individual web sites, and won't let them stomp all over your file system.

      3) Store apps use Windows system-wide notifications settings, which means that Quiet Mode and Presentation Mode are respected. You also can choose to turn audio notifications on/off, you can show notifications on the lock screen (or not), and you can see notifications that you missed. This is per-app.

      4) When you uninstall a PWA store app, everything associated with it is deleted. There is no equivalent to this in Chrome or Firefox, unless you're willing to dive into the F12 tools and manually clean up service workers, long-term storeage, etc. after you decide you're done with Twitter.

      • skane2600

        In reply to warren:

        1) Or you can simply put the link to twitter at the top of Chrome. How many users actually know about Win+1 or deliberately arrange the order of programs in the taskbar?

        2) Are you claiming that when you browse to, twitter has free access to your filesystem?

        3) You can silence individual tabs in Chrome. As Windows programs, aren't Chrome and Firefox subject to Quiet Mode and Presentation Mode?

        4) I don't understand what you're talking about. When I visit nothing is installed on my system so there's nothing to uninstall.

        • NazmusLabs

          In reply to skane2600:

          You faked to understand part of the comment. The silence was not about audio but notifications appearing. Secondly, the clean Uninstaller refers to local cache. For browsers, you can't easily clear cache for individual sites. By using the app, you can. And even if a feature is used by advanced users, it makes it valuable feature and a poweruser feature, making it even more impressive.

    • mackrevinack

      In reply to skane2600:

      i always have tons of other tabs open in my browser. so if i only want to use twitter i would still have to load all those other tabs

  6. NT6.1

    This is a joke. You're using a damn computer. Just open Twitter in a new Chrome tab. You can even get notifications.

  7. Rycott

    Tweeten is in the store and it's great.

    It modifies Tweetdeck with extra features. So you get your up-to date twitter experience but also get some other nice features and tweaks.

    Works way better on the desktop.

    • unfalln

      In reply to Rycott:

      This story isn't an advert for Twitter, it's a report on the first steps toward true PWAs being rolled out to users from the Microsoft Store.

      Unless Tweeten is also a PWA that is being listed in the Microsoft Store, you have entirely missed the point of this article.

  8. dontbe evil

    good start to bring "full" and missing apps to the store... but in future I hope they'll move away from pwa/js craps to native, fast and light UWP

  9. markbyrn

    The Store reviews aren't very kind; bits like, "Now just a webapp in a Windows frame. Where did the night mode go? No integration with UWP functionality. Nothing Windows-specific about this app. Might as well open a browser. Waste of space."

    • dvdwnd

      In reply to markbyrn:

      The rule is you deduct a star from your review for every time you have to suffer through the dialog nagging you to rate the app.

      It's ironic that the only (?) OS integration that Twitter bothered with was that Store dialog, and it turned out so badly. We could have had a live tile. A native share button. But nooo. Nag screen it is.

      I hope that this was just a small bump in the road, and that we will all enjoy a glorious PWA future real soon now.

    • rfog

      In reply to Usman:

      Each time I investigate one of those diagrams I found they are false to give a false impression of architecture. Normally the reality is completely different. I know nothing about this one, but others done by MS always have been lies.

  10. dvdwnd

    High-quality? There are numerous issues, which really don't help promote the PWA concept. Not to mention that we only get a pared-down "mobile" experience. So far, Twitter has used the native API access capabilities to show a modal, slow-loading nag dialog to rate the app. Every. Time. You. Load. It.

    I'm surprised that Microsoft didn't make any of their MSN apps available as PWAs earlier in development of RS4. Will other app devs find it worthwhile to rewrite their apps as PWAs, so Windows users can enjoy a slightly smaller app gap? I think this will take time to have any real impact, and in the meantime, we would have been better served with an Android subsystem as a pragmatic stop-gap solution to a growing problem.

  11. Bdsrev

    This is great news! They need to replace the Windows 10 Instagram app with the Instagram PWA ASAP too

  12. RedSign

    The UWP app was not poorly written. It was just not kept up to date. I don't get the point in using an 'app' for twitter on the desktop anyway, imho.

    • dvdwnd

      In reply to RedSign:

      Most importantly, it didn't have any ads. On a serious note, the Twitter PWA is a step sideways, at best. The UWP app had more features, yet a smaller working set (<150MB vs >250MB for the PWA). And it had less bugs (but I'm told the new PWA app updates constantly, so that will take care of itself).

  13. Jeremy Petzold

    I see what Microsoft is doing....they load their web store with PWA and then once the industry has moved to PWA they can relaunch on mobile and the world will be right once more for at least corporations that need to make sure they can use AD with their device deployment.

  14. tomrb

    This app still needs work. Scrolling is terrible, no dark theme, no support for multiple accounts, constantly prompting for a store review, a lot of empty whitespace that could be used for content. I also really don't appreciate a web experience in place of a native experience because the developer is too lazy to build a native app. I liked the old app, it may not have had all the features but it was a good minimalistic experience that satisfied my needs.

  15. tomrb

    The more I use the new app the more annoyed I get. It really is not good experience. I have nothing against PWAs but I do expect a replacement app to be better than what it is replacing.

  16. SherlockHolmes

    And again: Nobody explained to me why PWA is the glorious future on a desktop PC? Because it works on all platforms? Great! I think this hype will slow down as it did with all things MSFT promoted as the big new thing in the past.

    • curtisspendlove

      In reply to SherlockHolmes:

      There are 10 types of people: those who love web apps and those who love native apps.

      The first group of people think PWAs are the silver bullet that kills native apps. That all platform owners will toss hooks into their web platform to remove all the current compromises of web apps.

      It s likely to get us closer. But it isn’t as simple or perfect as most proponents seem to think.

      I admit that I’m bias to native apps, always have been. I’ve been wanting a good “platform to rule them all” option since Java first promised it in the 90’s (it wasn’t the first, but it was the first “likely” option).

      PWA is the same pig, with significantly fancier lipstick.

      • skane2600

        In reply to curtisspendlove:

        I prefer native apps as well since they can take advantage of everything a platform can offer.

        All attempts at a "platform to rule them all" fall short and they always will.

        IMO the real value of Java at the time it was introduced was that it allowed one to compile a non-GUI program once and have it run on all the different Unix versions with their different processor architectures (as long as the Java virtual machine was installed).

        The problems started when trying to add GUIs to the mix. There were two fundamental problems:

        1) How do we really want it to work - exactly the same on all systems, or follow the conventions of the system it's running on?

        2) How to write programs for a diverse set of platforms without limiting functionality to what the weakest platform can support.

        These problems aren't limited to Java, they're fundamental.

        • curtisspendlove

          In reply to skane2600:

          “1) How do we really want it to work - exactly the same on all systems, or follow the conventions of the system it's running on?

          2) How to write programs for a diverse set of platforms without limiting functionality to what the weakest platform can support.”

          Agreed. 100%

          Each challenge is diametrically opposed with itself.

          If you want a native feel, a PWA isn't going to cut it. But then you are back to vastly different codebases.

          If you want a generic API with thick native functionality, your code is then either littered with conditionals, or simply fails to work when the platform owner doesn’t implement something.

          What does a PWA that depends on geolocation APIs do when the client platform doesn’t support GPS?

    • dvdwnd

      In reply to SherlockHolmes:

      Google is on board this time so anything might happen. But I agree that it is a hype, and PWA is no magic pixiedust that makes all apps great. They will (probably) be heavier than their native counterparts. Perhaps that isn't important, but let's not pretend that they are lighter, less memory and CPU hogging by default.

    • nerocui

      In reply to SherlockHolmes:

      Pwa will replace everything, everything! Even gaming, video editing, sound mixing hell even file explorer. Because once the internet is as fast a SSD and data is as cheap as electricity, a browser is the only app we need.

      • skane2600

        In reply to nerocui:

        I can't tell if you're serious or not. Even if the extremely unlikely scenario you describes were to come to pass you wouldn't need PWAs to make it happen, just the browser.

        • nerocui

          In reply to skane2600:

          Disagree. First, I am serious.

          Secondly, those are not unlikely. 5G is all about making the Internet fast and cheap. All the big connectivity companies that are part of the standard making process agree that internet need to be as accessible as electricity. And 5G will be Gbps, it's not exactly SSD speed, but it's pretty decent already. And it's only going to get better and better.

          Third, I think you should look up what PWA stands for. It is progressive. It is THE WEB THAT YOU USE IN BROWSER getting better and better UX over time, hence, progressive. If you don't need PWA to be in the frame of a browser, are you just planning to use a blank new tab?

          Try MATLAB online please. I use it on my Surface Pro. When I pin it to the desktop, it opens without the browser UI. And due to it's powerful machine in the cloud. I can plot graph much faster then using my own CPU and GPU. And it does not slow down my computer doing so.

  17. Jarrett Kaufman (TurboFool)

    Unfortunately it lacks the multi-account support of the previous version, makes this two steps forward and one step back.

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