How to install a Progressive Web App (PWA) on your Chromebook

The way we use our computers has changed a lot over the years and one of the biggest changes is cloud computing. That is where you do all your tasks whether that is word processing, spreadsheets or even video editing in the cloud. The Chromebook was created for cloud computing, in fact, it was the Chromebook that created the change from local computing to working in the cloud.

Most of us get things done on our Chromebooks using the Chrome browser. You can do almost anything inside a browser and where that fails we also have access to Android and Linux Apps. That’s what makes ChromeOS such a versatile computer. If you can’t find a cloud solution you’ll most likely find what you’re looking for using Android or Linux Apps.

Thanks to Google launching the Chromebook way back in 2010. The technology industry, especially software companies, had to rethink how their software would be used in the future. You can see this with the likes of Microsoft and Adobe where most of their products are now available online. To get the most out of these software products you want to install a PWA.

What is a PWA?

A Progressive Web App (PWA) is an app that you install on your computer. However, it’s totally different to installing an Android or Linux app. This is because these apps have been coded to work directly from inside your browser. This means a PWA can be used on any computer where you have an internet browser, and it doesn’t matter what type of computer you’re using.

This is one of the reasons why PWAs are the future, and software companies are prepared to invest a lot of time and effort into them. They don’t need to worry about creating different apps for different types of computers, and can simply concentrate on a PWA which can be used by all.

The benefits of a PWA is that they offer a much better experience and are far more stable. On top of that, they can also offer more functionality than using software from simply visiting a web address. When you install a PWA on your Chromebook you’ll find the app in your ChromeOS App launcher (start menu), which means you can also pin it to your taskbar for quick access. A PWA is still run inside a browser, so no further software is needed.

You’ll find plenty of PWAs already exist

To install a PWA on your Chromebook you simply need to visit the website where you’d like to check if one is available. A good example is Spotify where you’re able to listen to music directly from the internet browser. If you want further functionality you’d possibly look at installing the Spotify Android app. Both of these methods work fine, but you’ll get a better experience with a PWA.

Android apps are great but not all of them work perfectly on all Chromebooks. It really depends on the Chromebook you have on what type of experience you’ll get. The good news is Spotify has a PWA available, which means you can install their PWA. From my own personal experience, the best experience on a Chromebook for Spotify is when you’re using their PWA. Far better than the Android app or listening to music directly from the browser.

YouTube Music is another example where you can install a PWA. If you’re interested in using Microsoft Office on your Chromebook I would strongly recommend giving Microsoft 365 a try, which works great on ChromeOS. Again Microsoft 365 can be used directly from the browser, but you get a more stable experience and the added advantage of having an app showing in your ChromeOS App Launcher if you install their PWAs.