Microsoft is adding new display modes to PWAs in Windows 10 Redstone 5

This week is Microsoft's Build 2018 developer conference, and if it wasn't obvious, a hot topic is Progressive Web Apps. Support for PWAs was added in the Windows 10 April 2018 Update, or version 1803, and they allow for web apps to act like native apps by using Service Workers. With these, PWAs can work offline, deliver notifications, and enable Live Tiles.

In a Build session today, Microsoft outline some of what's next for PWAs. Beginning with the next version of Windows 10, PWAs will offer more display options. As it stands right now, all you'll see in the UI is a back button, as it's a standalone app so it removes the Edge browser elements.

Two new display modes will be offered: fullscreen and minimal UI. Fullscreen isn't exactly what it sounds like, since it's still a windowed app. What this does is remove the back button, so it works like a standard app, removing app browser navigation controls. Minimal UI does the opposite, adding browser elements like back, forward, refresh, and even a read-only URL bar. You should be able to control which of these elements are displayed though.

Obviously, Microsoft is going to continue to invest in PWA support, since it allows for truly cross-platform apps that can be updated on the back end. You can look forward to hearing about more new features moving forward.

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