How to turn your favorite web apps into desktop applications

You can access Twitter and Google Chat with just one click. This is how you think beyond the browser.

As you may have noticed, we do most of our computing through web browsers now. Web apps and websites can do everything, from checking email to watching videos to creating spreadsheets to viewing movies.

Think about what desktop applications you regularly use. For many, it will likely be a photo editor, web browser and possibly an office program. The trend towards working in the cloud has already become the norm. (Microsoft even lets you stream Windows through a web browser now.)

It’s possible now to install some well-known web applications on Windows, macOS or Chrome OS. We’ll explain how to do this using progressive web apps (or PWAs).

Progressive Web Apps explained

Progressive web apps can be described as a specific type of web app. PWAs are not available for every application that you could run online. An online app must be developed in a specific way and follow a set of standards to allow it to function as a standalone desktop program.

Twitter, Spotify and Google Chat are some of the most well-known PWAs. But, there are many others. PWAs are promoted by both Microsoft and Google, which is understandable. It’s therefore the best way to get them up and running is via the Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome browsers.

chrome os screenshot

Chrome OS allows web app entries to be placed in the main launcher.

Google Chrome OS by David Nield

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