Google Chome version 70 is out and is about to change everything by adding progressive desktop web apps. Think of Google SEO as the new App store and your brand as an app.
There are many choices when it comes to web browsers these days.
You can opt for Mozilla Firefox which has new features such as WebVR and Web Authn. You might choose Safari or Opera depending on which operating system you use. But I think we can all agree that Microsoft Edge (formerly Internet Explorer) is best left alone.
However, chances are you, like me and many others, use Google Chrome instead. As such, when there is a new update, it can affect usability and disrupt our daily routines.
Along with some added extension crackdowns, most changes to Chrome involved one important thing: Progressive Web Apps.
What Makes Progressive Web App Support so Vital?
In Google’s own words, Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) are a fast, reliable, and engaging way of getting the user to focus their full attention on a page.
They utilize service workers to enable users to control the cache, as well as how to respond to various resource demands. Pre-caching important resources alleviates network dependence.
This, in kind, helps boost the speed, which is one reason users turn to Chrome in the first place. As cited on their developer site, “53% of users will abandon a site if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load.”
But most intriguing is that PWAs allow for full-screen immersive experiences.
Users can install and access them on their home screens, bypassing app stores. Progressive Web Apps can also send push notifications, as well. Of course, users can control app appearance and launch parameters via the Web App Manifest.
Google hopes that this will lead to improved conversions, increased engagement, and more reliable use regardless of network conditions.
Part of the PWA integration came with the help of the automated, open-source tool Lighthouse.
If you want to see these PWA changes for yourself, here’s a quick how-to.
The DIY PWA 1-2-3
- Update your browser: First off, you’re going to want to update your Chrome browser. If you don’t have Chrome yet, you can download it here.
- Educate yourself: If you’re new to the term Progressive Web App, take some time to get familiar with their capabilities. You can find plenty of great examples here.
- Get Experimental: If you’d like to see what’s coming down the pipeline for all Chrome users, type chrome://flags into your browser and enable PWA full code cache to get a step ahead of your marketing or development competition.
Progressive Web Apps are certainly the “next big thing” for web browsers and you’re sure to see them much more over the coming months. Skip ahead of the crowd and get familiar with PWAs now — it will pay off in the future.
Although PWA updates were the biggest splash in the pond for the Chrome 70 update, it wasn’t the only change to make waves.
An Important Security Fix Pleases Many Users
One of the biggest and most appreciated changes in Chrome 70 relates to logins.
In the last version, Chrome 69, the browser logged users in without notifying them. Many critics said that this signaled that Google pushed users into sharing data they may not want to share.
Basically, if you logged into ANY Google service including Gmail or YouTube, you logged into the Chrome web browser, as well.
Chrome 70 amends this feature while also patching 23 security vulnerabilities. However, the feature remains opt-out rather than opt-in.
You have to navigate to the “Advanced” section of Settings and change it under “Privacy and security” to disable it.
The update also includes HTTP warnings for Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificates issued by Symantec. This relates to evidence that Symantec violated rules by issuing certificates improperly. This plan had been in motion for around a year.
The next update, Chrome 71, is not expected until December 4th.