Why Apple's Newest iOS Update is a Big Deal for PWAs

Katie Huston Picture

by Katie Huston | Last Updated: Mar 26, 2019

Yesterday's Apple Event had everyone buzzing about cards, arcades, and–of course–Oprah. But behind the scenes, without much fanfare, Apple was also launching an iOS 12.2 update that we are paying some extra attention to. Why? Because the update is a b-i-g deal for the implementation and functions of Progressive Web Apps (PWAs). It’s All In the App First up and most importantly, external sites are now loaded right there IN THE PWA, meaning you don’t get dropped out onto a browser to log in to an external site. Talk about a better user experience! Gestures are also available (think: going back on a page), like Safari or Chrome has, where the user can go back to previous pages to see different content. This’ll make content a whole lot easier to access without losing track of the page you’re on. If It Quacks Like A Duck... When you’ve saved a PWA to the home screen of your Apple device, that PWA is now featured in the “Applications” section of the search functionality which means it’ll be way easier to find the PWA you are looking for as compared to the native mobile apps. And, state is maintained if the PWA is running in the background, which means that the page will save your progress if you tap out of the app and into another app or webpage. This hasn’t been a feature that’s been enabled before and that means new territory for better updating of pages. Service workers (need a recap on this essential part of a PWA? Click here!) are also out of the experiment testing phase and are enabled onto your device by default. Hooray for better progressive web experiences! And It’s Available Now! You can get all of these great new features for better PWA experiences, plus a ton of security updates, a new News section, Apple TV upgrades and more right now with a system update from iOS. Simply go to your Settings on an Apple device, select Software Update, and Download & Install. See something buggy or very cool with the new update running? Tweet at us @Lumavate — we can’t wait to see the good and the needs-to-be-fixed that unfolds with a brand-new update. This recap features info from a few of the PWA champs that we love (look out for a feature on the best people to follow for up-to-date PWA info very soon!), Ionic developer Mike Hartington (find him here!) and PWA enthusiast Maximiliano Firtman (medium account).

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