Progressive Web Apps might not be able to replace every kind of native application, but they can be viable replacements for some apps written with the Electron web wrapper technology. The desktop app for Google’s business-focused Chat app was previously written in Electron, but now the company has replaced it with a shiny PWA.
“We’ve launched a new Google Chat standalone app,” Google wrote on the G Suite Updates Blog. “The app is a Progressive Web Application (PWA), which provides a fast, reliable, and engaging way to use Chat on any desktop device with the Google Chrome web browser.” It’s compatible with any operating system running Chrome 73 or higher — even though one of the main advantages of PWAs is that they are supposed to work on any browser, Google says it is “working to address” the incompatibility.
Google Chat now joins the small collection of Google-made desktop PWAs, which includes Drive, Photos, Canvas, Gmail, and YouTube Music.