Bridging the native app gap even further, Microsoft is working on a new capability to allow Edge users to run progressive web apps (PWAs) on startup. This will provide users with an option to set PWAs to launch automatically upon logging into the operating system session. Similar to some of the native applications like Skype and Microsoft Teams, Windows 10 users can set PWA apps like Twitter, Gmail, among others to start running alongside their operating system.
Progressive Web Apps can run on Windows startup
The feature to auto-start PWAs on startup is being worked on for Chromium web browser applications such as Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge. ‘Desktop PWAs run on OS login’ prototype feature flag is available in Chrome and Edge and is disabled by default. It adds the Startup folder to Windows-base paths and shell util. Plus, it also adds “in_startup” entry to Web App Shortcut locations.
If the feature flag is enabled, it shows a checkbox in the PWA install dialog. If the dialog is checked, the PWA install task creates an additional shortcut in the Windows Startup folder by setting the “in_startup” location to true. Windows 10 and other operating systems offer the ability to configure an application to launch automatically when the user logs into their OS session.
Folks at Microsoft Edge have published detailed documentation on GitHub describing the function of this Chromium feature:
“Certain class of native applications, including email, chat, monitoring dashboards and real-time data display apps have been using this capability. Users can engage with those applications as soon as they log into the OS. We aim to add this capability to the web platform to empower web developers to provide the same first-class experience to their users with their installed web apps.”
Microsoft argues this capability must require user permission since it could affect the performance and user experience. The main idea behind allowing Edge PWAs to run on startup revolves around four goals, as follows:
- Provide ways for developers to enable and disable this capability.
- Provide ways for users to acknowledge this capability and make a choice.
- Provide ways for users to opt-out of this capability whenever they choose to do.
- Allow this capability only for installed web apps.
In related news, Chromium browsers want Windows 10 users to rely heavily on Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) to perform common tasks directly from the taskbar, courtesy of App shortcuts. Both Edge and Chrome are working on App Shortcuts to let users compose emails, tweets, etc, directly from Windows 10 taskbar.