Microsoft wants Edge PWAs to work like native Windows 10 apps

Microsoft is working on a new feature for the new Chromium-based Edge browser, which is expected to be generally available on January 15. This new feature is exclusive to Windows, and it would make it so that web apps are treated by the operating system as if they were native apps. The capability was first discovered as a flag called Web Apps Identity Proxy by a user on Microsoft's Tech Community forums for the browser, and it was confirmed by Microsoft's John Jansen.

The feature is only available in the Canary channel for now, specifically version 80.0.344.0 and up, so it won't be ready in time for the initial public release of the browser. However, when it does launch, if the user is running Windows 10 build 19022 or higher, it will make web apps be recognized as native Windows 10 apps.

There are many advantages to this, starting with each web app having its own entry in the Windows 10 task manager. It also makes it so that notifications are labeled as coming from an app, rather than Edge and it makes it easier to uninstall web apps. In the future, this could even allow web apps to display notifications badges or have custom jump lists, just like native apps do.

Since the feature is still hidden behind a flag and somewhat incomplete at this point, it's not yet clear when it will be officially available. Even if it gets promoted to a full-fledged feature in the Canary channel soon, it will take at least a couple of months for general users to see it in the public version of the browser. It will also require you to be on the next Windows 10 feature update, currently known as 20H1, which is still in testing with Insiders.

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