Trusted Web Activities or TWA. ๐Ÿ“ฑ

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Hello there!

This post is about a new tech that Google rolled out earlier this year (February, 2019) for their Android platform. Itโ€™s called the Trusted Web Activities or a TWA, which is nothing but a PWA with more trust. Dang!

If you donโ€™t know what a PWA is head over here to read up on what Progressive Web Apps are and do.


Notched iPhones are in!

Sometimes these acronyms from Google can be a little intimidating and mouthful, but for the sake of simplicity, we are talking about the ability to publish websites like native apps into the Google Playstore.

If you are like me, you probably do not have a single app installed on your smartphone other than the web browser. As founders of Bubblin Superbooks we have long avoided using or publishing native apps into any of the app stores and have loudly expressed our love for the web and web alone.

With TWAs this line of demarcation between an app store and open web blurs quite a bit (down to $25 precisely) and therefore we decided to explore publishing the Bubblin reader on the Google Playstore.

Here, try the all new Bubblin Android App to read your favorite books on! โœจ

This way we do not have to create or maintain a separate native app or a hybrid app (think PhoneGapp, Cordova or Ionic) for the Android marketplace, which means a lot less boilerplate code to take care of, zero technical debt of developing and supporting native Android app in Java or Kotlin, better accessibility features of the web using a single universal web app, and an immersive fullscreen experience for all users of our app. Take advantage of both open web and a native app marketplace with a single web application that is easier to develop, deploy and maintain.

In many ways the TWA route felt like open web reaching deeper into the closed gardens of the Android Playstore and we were okay to support that goal. Unfortunately, Appleโ€™s Appstore does not support TWAs at the moment so we had to implement the fullscreen api using JavaScript for iPadOS Safari to support readers behind that ecosystem. Overall, we are super happy about the state of web in 2019 and the trajectory that we are on.

Let me know if you need help with TWAs for your own app.


P.S: I stopped using native apps two years ago and never felt the need to go back. Whenever I need to do something online I simply reach out for the website on Google Chrome or use a vanilla website on the desktop instead. Finish the task at hand, close the tab and go back to sleep. Itโ€™s very peaceful.

Written by: Marvin Danig, CEO of Bubblin Superbooks. Follow me on Twitter?

Edited by: Sonica Arora, CTO of Bubblin Superbooks.

P.S.: It is likely that some of you viewed this site on your desktop. I recommend you trying Bubblin on your iPad Safari or iPad Chrome and go fullscreen!